Jay Feely, a former NFL kicker and Michigan teammate of Tom Brady who is now an analyst for CBS Sports, has apologized for tweeting a photo of himself posing with a handgun and standing between his daughter and her prom date.
“Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a great time at prom,” the original tweet said, along with the hashtag “#BadBoys.” In a followup tweet yesterday, Feely said the photo was “obviously intended to be a joke.” The couple, who has dated for a year, “knew I was joking,” he added. “I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue.”
Reaction was split on social media, perhaps not surprisingly given the intense national debate about gun control lately. Some people immediately pounced on the tweet and image as tone-deaf, not only in terms of the gun issue but also what they considered the objectification of Feely’s daughter. Others saw it as a lighthearted zinger and said critics needed to develop a sense of humor.
Feely played for seven NFL teams in a 14-year career. In 2014, Feely joined CBS Sports as a college football analyst for CBS Sports Network, eventually moving into the booth for NFL games.
At Michigan, he played with Brady and has remained good friends with him, even vacationing last year with the New England Patriots quarterback and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bündchen. During the Patriots’ run to the Super Bowl last January, Feely said Bündchen had asked him to persuade Brady, 40, to retire from football given the sport’s injury risks.
Here is Feely’s apology, followed by his original tweet, which was not deleted: