Tom Brady adds another sport to his long resume: pickleball!
The 45-year-old seven-time Super Bowl champion announced Wednesday that he will become the owner of Major League Pickleball, joining other athletes like tennis star Kim Clijsters, NBA champion LeBron James and star of NFL Drew Brees in the growing league.
Brady shared the news in an Instagram video. “Look, I’ve been trying to find a way to extend my professional sports career, into my 40s, even into my 50s, 60s, 60s! As long as I can, right? And I think I got the answer,” he said. said. “Looks like everyone else has the answer too – pickleball!”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers star says he’s “super excited” to help the sport grow, but he’ll also bring his high level of competition to the league.
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“We’re going to continue to bring awareness to this thing all over the country, all over the world. And look, how I feel with the competition, right. I love that it’s become a neighborhood sport so popular. It’s a great way to get out of the house, but I’m coming to win. I’m coming to dominate the sport. Pickleball – let’s fucking do it,” Brady concluded.
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Pickleball has become one of the fastest growing sports and had 4.8 million players nationwide last year. The indoor or outdoor paddle sport is similar to tennis, but with hollow wiffle balls.
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Major League Pickleball said Brady and Clijsters are buying an expansion team, with matches starting in 2023, per CNBC. The group will be led by Knighthead Capital.
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Clijsters, who started playing the sport after retiring from tennis earlier this year, has yet to play against Brady, but told CNBC, “We know he loves playing pickleball and he is very competitive. We can’t wait to have a game and see where everyone’s levels are.”
League founder Steve Kuhn said the new group of investors, which is expected to be 50% owned by women, has a genuine “passion for the sport”.