New England Patriots quarterback knows a thing or two about being caught in the middle of a controversy. After having spent the last summer under the weight of Deflategate and subsequently reversed NFL suspension, Brady knows how much support from peers and teammates means when trying to overcome such adversity.
Now he's stepping up to become a pillar of support.
Speaking to Boston radio station WEEI (h/t ESPN), Brady addressed the scandal facing Peyton Manning, in which the Denver Broncos quarterback was the subject of an Al Jazeera documentary claiming the latter had shipments of HGH sent to his wife. Brady stood up for Manning and proclaimed his support for the beleaguered quarterback.
"He's been a great player for this league, for his teams, for his organizations. He's been one of the best players to ever play the game. Nobody has more respect for Peyton than I do, and everything he's accomplished. Those are always challenging times, but he's a tough guy, I know that. He's a very mentally and physically tough guy."
Brady stopped short of proclaiming Manning's innocence in the matter, stepping away from the question by noting that he couldn't comment on every story like this.
"There is nothing I really want to add, because I don't know; someone writes a story and to comment on the story that someone writes all the time, I don't know the details of anything."
Over the weekend, Al Jazeera released an investigative documentary in which it talked with a pharmacist named "Charlie Sly" who claimed to have sent multiple shipments of HGH to Peyton Manning's wife in 2011. Sly also named three MLB players – Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, and Taylor Teagarden – in his interview.
Manning has called the claims "garbage" and there is currently no indication that the NFL or MLB are looking into the issue at this time.
See photos of the players named in Al Jazeera's report
Pro athletes accused of doping in Al Jazeera report
Tom Brady offers up support for Peyton Manning amid HGH scandal
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 20: Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos watches the action from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of play at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Denver Broncos on Sunday, December 20, 2015. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 28: Mike Neal #96 of the Green Bay Packers looks to the sidelines during the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on December 28, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 30-20. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 3: Inside linebacker Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers walks out to the field prior to playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 3, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 8: Julius Peppers #56 of the Green Bay Packers looks on during a NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank Of America Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 08: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks onto the field before the start of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field on November 8, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 26: RY 26: ARY 26: Taylor Teagarden #23 of the New York Mets poses for a portrait during Spring Training photo day at Tradition Field on February 26, 2014 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 12: Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies in the dugout during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 12, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 7-6. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals sits in the dugout during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on September 29, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)