Yahoo Sports Charles Robinson, Jori Epstein and Charles McDonald discuss Tom Brady’s connection to the class-action suit filed against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and a number of other celebrities. How big of an off the field hit will this be for Brady? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Significant lawsuit filed over the implosion of the FTX crypto trading platform. I think it was the third largest trading platform on the planet. Sam Bankman-Fried is now in the crosshairs for what many are calling a Ponzi scheme.
But the reason why we're talking about it here is because Tom Brady was Sam Bankman-Fried's buddy. He posted videos on his social media with him. He was at a crypto conference in the Bahamas with this guy. He had the Bitcoin laser eyes on his social media profiles, which now, interestingly enough, he's now taken that off because he doesn't want to be associated with this mess.
Look, this is going to be a significant off-field blemish for him. No one knows the size of the stake he had in the FTX platform. But the reality is I remember it was the Super Bowl commercial, Tom Brady is into crypto or you-- or I don't remember the exact language of it. I had written about it.
And when I looked at the Google searches for FTX, they spiked massively the week after that commercial came out. Then several months later, another commercial comes out with Tom Brady as the centerpiece, massive spike again. It's just this is an individual who-- and Odell Beckham Jr. got involved in crypto. Aaron Rodgers got involved in crypto, Trevor Lawrence. You had a multi-- Russell Okung. You had all these athletes who were saying, I want to be paid in Bitcoin and all this stuff.
And they were seen as geniuses in the moment. And yet now everyone's, all you see is the multitude of, how much did they lose? Oh, Brady, Brady and Gisele had $650 million tied up in FTX, which is not true, by the way. But it is one of these things that I think looking back, this is impacting the entire cryptocurrency market, which means it's impacting a lot of people around the world, a lot of Americans. A lot of people are losing a ton of money because of something that looks like it was not regulated and looks kind of sneaky.
And here's the interesting thing about this with Brady. Now that this lawsuit has been filed, the question is going to be raised at some point by all the individuals who lost money in this, the brand ambassadors, what did they know, when did they know it, and did they get any equity out before the announcement came that the FTX platform was filing for bankruptcy? And I'm going to tell you right now, if anybody got any money out named Tom Brady or Steph Curry or any of these other individuals who drove this, there's going to be hell to pay. There's going to be a lot of people really pissed off because that looks like, hey, they basically-- there's some inside information. And they got their parachute before everybody else got ripped off.
Jori, do you think this spells the end of-- I hope it does. Does this spell the end of athletes being like, yeah, I'll go ahead and pitch-- my business manager found this deal for me. I don't understand what the hell this is. But I'm going to go ahead and pitch it anyway.
JORI EPSTEIN: Yeah, I think I'd be willing to bet at least as much money as y'all put into crypto that this is not the end of athletes doing that.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Oh really? OK.
JORI EPSTEIN: I just think that the way we see, I mean, the number of different things you see athletes promote, I find it difficult to believe that players, especially players who are able to leverage their NFL brand and maybe aren't getting those big contracts, are not going to continue making these risky decisions, not every player. But, I mean, what, you have 1,300 guys in the league, whatever it is. I think some will. How about you, CMAC?
CHARLES MCDONALD: I definitely don't think that this is the end of stuff like this. As long as there's money to be made here, I-- maybe this is just cynical on my part, but I can't imagine whatever the next scam is that if you can get athletes and sports fans and also the mental rush of gambling involved in it somehow, I feel like stuff like this is always going to be around.
I mean, I remember when I was back in college and people were selling the Verve drinks, where like, do you want some residual income, bro? Well, how about you buy this and then you sell to those people? And then you can give me a cut of that and you'll get a cut from those people.
And it's like, come on. Ponzi schemes are going to be around forever. They're as American as apple pie. And I think that athletes are still going to be involved with them, too.