Brady Takes Heat For Using Kipling Poem In Tribute Tweet to Teammates

rudyard_kipling_portraittom_brady_2016It takes a lot to get me to support Tom Brady and the Patriots as a lifelong Bears fan.  However, there is a bizarre controversy after Brady posted a picture of his Super Bowl winning team with a quotation from Rudyard Kipling’s 1898 poem If on Instagram and Twitter.  That unleashed an outcry from some who denounced the poem as written by a racist.  Other said that, given Brady’s support of Donald Trump, the use of the poem was alarming.  Perhaps the critics should also consider another quote from Kipling: “I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.”


Kipling wrote during the heyday of the British Empire and reflected the values and pride of that period.  He wrote favorably about the British colonies and coined the infamous phrase “white man’s burden.”  Yahoo writer Daniel Roberts tied Brady’s use of Kipling to his support for Trump by tweeting: “Considering all the vitriol over Brady’s friendship w/ Trump, mayyybe Rudyard Kipling (“The White Man’s Burden) not the best poet to quote.”  In fairness to Roberts, I think he was making a humorous aside and not necessarily endorsing the move against writers and figures deemed to be symbols of a racist era.
Other followed suit with criticism of the use of the classic poem.  Others noted that he did not credit Kipling though it is clear that he is quoting from a poem.  As I have discussed before, there is a growing opposition to reading the words for authors who reflected racist values or imagery prevalent in their times.  I believe such work needs to be considered in the context of their time.  I see no reason why Brady should not quote the poem which seems quite apropos for his message of overcoming opposition and criticism.  Here is the poem:
If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

123 thoughts on “Brady Takes Heat For Using Kipling Poem In Tribute Tweet to Teammates”

    1. How? They aren’t allowed read, think, nor reason. Three requisite precursors. Must be the daily programming of the collective. Carville or Lykos speak, Streep tweets, the left regurgitates.

  1. I take it someone named Daniel Roberts what that is was the chief bitcher at large? What is a Daniel Roberts and why am I bothering to ask what it is?

    So the complaint is because they viewed Kipling as a racist, conventiently making that observation from their whitebread point of todays view and forgetting the great journalists context of the times – but then they would feel the same about Samuel Clemens I’m sure – they oh so conveniently forget to point out where in the poem that oh so great offends the mysterious ‘some’ are the offending lines?

    Is this a freaking airhead snowflake or what? A course or two in basic literature would have helped. Attending college and actually going to class would have helped.

    Let me guess Daniel Roberts is nom de plume for Meryl Streep?

    Holly weeds and snow flakes equal air heads.It’s generational x+Y=zero Three tries that should have seen a boost in condom sales

    1. I have it figured out. Daniel Roberts (man or woman?) is ‘confused’ and jealous of anyone who knows which toilet door is appropriate. Doesn’t matter which gender. What ever it is it is not important.

  2. Kipling was a racist poet.* Of that there is no doubt. It was quite rare to find a man who was not a racist then.
    The British and others were empire building. They discovered different types around the world. In Africa they discovered people, black people, who were not only ignorant but also less intelligent. Even today in sub-Saharan Africa the average IQ is 70. Does quoting that statistic make me racist?
    It is right and proper to judge each person individually in interpersonal interactions. Is it right to generalize as well? To have a stereotypical image of a member of a group? Judging groups as groups, tribes as tribes, is what we humans do. We profile all the time. When we meet a teen we have a built-up profile of a stereotypical teen. It is previous experience of that group generalized. We adjust our own teen stereotype as needed in interpersonal interactions.
    (From Wiki) The poem [White Man’s Burden] exhorts the reader and the listener to embark upon the enterprise of empire, yet gives somber warning about the costs involved; nonetheless, *American imperialists* understood the phrase ‘The white man’s burden’ to justify imperialism as a noble enterprise of civilization, conceptually related to the American philosophy of Manifest Destiny.
    The _noblesse oblige_ was to bring civilization to the uncivilized races they had found.
    They made a big mistake, of course, by using skin color as a predictor of anything. It is an even bigger mistake today because in the civilized world we are intermixing. The ‘White Man’s Burden’ today — the desire to make life better for other races, too, by civilizing them — is seen in ‘Spreading Democracy,’ ‘Foreign Aid,’ and social programs designed to help the poor non-whites. We see it in our claim of American exceptionalism. We see it in having tried to be the world’s policeman.
    *To claim that quoting any poet is an endorsement of his policies and activities in life is silly. That particular Kipling poem is not racist. It is a father’s recipe to his son of what it takes to be a man. It is an ad hominem fallacy to judge a work by judging the poet. My black roommate in college and I discussed ‘Gunga Din.’ We agreed that it was racist when the poet was surprised at Gunga Din’s performance under fire.
    An’ for all ’is dirty ’ide
    ’E was white, clear white, inside
    When ’e went to tend the wounded under fire!

    1. Let me give you another black man’s perspective. I was born a British subject and studied Kipling in school. Gunna Din was written from the point of view of an English soldier and reflected the treatment and attitudes heaped on the native “darkies” by the the colonial powers. This poem shows how despite the ideas of racial superiority, and the despicable way he has treated Din, an Englishman comes to the realization that “you’re a man than I am Gunga Din”. How racist is that?
      It is interesting to see leftists get exorcised over words written a hundred years ago while supporting people who stand of the same stage with their supporters who have contemporaneously used the most vile, sexist, racist, and homophobic language.
      A short list of such unnoticed supporters include Al Sharpton, JayZee, Beyoncé, Common, and Donna (we’re not gonna let those white boys win) Brazille.

      1. My roommate was Nigerian. His English was spoken in a British accent. Nigeria had been colonized by the British in 1861 ending in 1960. The year was 1962; perhaps that contributed to our conclusion.
        Nevertheless, whether Kipling was racist or not is really immaterial. Even an habitual liar like Hillary can tell the truth from time to time. A racist poet can write a non-racist poem.

        1. The problem is Hillary lied so much and so often no one believed her if she did tell the truth. When wasthat ?

  3. Tom Brady won 5 Super Bowls. Daniel Roberts has not won any. Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem we are still quoting 120 years after it was written. Daniel Roberts is a literary non-entity. Brady citing Kipling is one great acknowledging another. Daniel Roberts criticizing either borders on sacrilege. Perspective.

  4. The criticism is coming from those who hate the Y chromosome.

    I don’t even like football. Al Davis cured me of that when he moved the Raiders to LA. But I have a Y chromosome and, did I mention? Tom Brady is sleeping with Gisele Bundchen? (Bet she’s expensive, though.)

    Five goddam superbowl rings and this.

    I won’t mention it again. Except to say that if I were Tom Brady and I could afford Gisele Bundchen I could hardly give a (blank) about what somebody had to say about me quoting Kipling.

      1. The model or the whatever ‘it’ is? This thing gets more confusing with each ding bat unsubstatiated unresourced post. No wonder the subjectivists got their mystic asses kicked on November 8th. Besides being ‘confused’ as to toilet seats and which polls to support with their votes. Stupid is as stupid does.

  5. Right now Tom Brady is sleeping with Gisele Bundchen. I just thought I’d toss that into the mix.

  6. Let me cut him off at the pass.

    Sahih al-Bukhari – Book of Apostates – (2) Chapter: Al-Murtad and Al-Murtaddah

    ” Narrated `Ikrima:

    Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to `Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn `Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'”

    Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 6922
    In-book reference : Book 88, Hadith 5
    USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 9, Book 84, Hadith 57
    (deprecated numbering scheme)”

    Abu Bakr burned people alive. So did Ali. And the greatest rebuke it brought them was, “Well, if it had been me I wouldn’t have done it.”

  7. When will people like Brady learn that all things old white men are racist.

    And quoting Maya Angelou is racist cultural appropriation.

    Bad! Bad, Tom Brady, and it was racist for you and the imperialist colonialist Patriots to even play in the Superbowl.

    Differently abled trans Lesbians of color should have been awarded the win.

  8. Not being taken alive has a long proud tradition.

    Attention to citation:

    “Congressional Medal of Honor
    Awarded Posthumously

    Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Navy.
    Place and date: As Commander of a Submarine Coordinated Attack Group with Flag in the U.S.S. Sculpin, during the 9th War Patrol of that vessel in enemy-controlled waters off Truk Island, 19 November 1943.
    Born: 11 September 1901, Henry, Illinois.
    Appointed from: Illinois.
    Other Navy award: Legion of Merit.

    Undertaking this patrol prior to the launching of our first large-scale offensive in the Pacific, Capt. Cromwell, alone of the entire Task Group, possessed secret intelligence information of our submarine strategy and tactics, scheduled Fleet movements and specific attack plans. Constantly vigilant and precise in carrying out his secret orders, he moved his underseas flotilla inexorably forward despite savage opposition and established a line of submarines to southeastward of the main Japanese stronghold at Truk. Cool and undaunted as the submarine, rocked and battered by Japanese depth charges, sustained terrific battle damage and sank to an excessive depth, he authorized the Sculpin to surface and engage the enemy in a gunfight, thereby providing an opportunity for the crew to abandon ship. Determined to sacrifice himself rather than risk capture and subsequent danger of revealing plans under Japanese torture or use of drugs, he stoically remained aboard the mortally wounded vessel as she plunged to her death. Preserving the security of his mission, at the cost of his own life, he had served his country as he had served the Navy, with deep integrity and an uncompromising devotion to duty. His great moral courage in the face of certain death adds new luster to the traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”

    1. So brave. I don’t think enough people really understand the sacrifice our military makes for us.


    “…When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    So-oldier of the Queen!”

    “A Briton fighting in Syria “turned the gun on himself” to avoid being taken prisoner by so-called Islamic State, Kurdish sources have told the BBC.”

    Apparently he knew his Kipling.

  10. “Power leads to arrogance and arrogance to a fall.”

    –Rudyard Kipling

    Could he be describing the British Empire? Could we learn from it?

  11. There’s a lot of wisdom in that poem. Those who criticize Kipling would be better people if they could live their lives as described in the poem instead of trying to find fault in others.

  12. Did they boycott the movie remake of The Jungle Book? Hollywood must be racist to have created such a lavish movie based on a racist author’s works. What must Meryl Streep think?

  13. I have news for the hard Left.

    Our values evolved over thousands of years. So, by definition, the values of yesterday do not reflect the values of today. And yet, we build upon ancient wisdom. Were we to cast off the writings of anyone who does not reflect the mores of Haight-Ashbury from 1962 to the present, then we’ve lobotomized ourselves. Plus this hypersensitivity to the artists and thinkers of the past is absolutely neurotic. I suppose one day the Pieta and the Mona Lisa will be destroyed because, Michelangelo also used slaves as his inspiration five hundred years ago when slavery was ubiquitous.

    Almost everyone studies Kipling in English Lit. I don’t know if you can take the class without it. I don’t think they print an anthology without him. If is a moving poem. How much more creative would it be to set it to rap music.

  14. It is not true that Donald Trump, when asked if he was familiar with Kipling, said “I’ve never kippled.”

  15. ‘A racist is just a racist, but Kipling is a poet.’

    sigh…. they are attacking Kipling now?
    Maybe it’s time to move to the arctic


  16. What the devil is racist about that. Besides, Gunga Din is the hero of the poem. He is the better man. Certainly, that is not the writing of a racist.

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