Leave Tom Brady's Mouth Kisses Alone

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots kisses his wife Gisele Bündchen after the Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta, Georgia. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Sunday's Super Bowl was notable for three key reasons. First and foremost, this was a game so incredibly dull even football fans thought it was boring. (CNN's Jeff Pearlman called it "a boring, lame, non-suspenseful, never-ending, drool-puddle.") Second, the musical portion that usually pumps everyone up was such an anti-climax, Entertainment Weekly headlined its review: "Maroon 5's Super Bowl halftime show: Well, that was boring."

And the third thing? Well, it all has to do with Tom Brady's mouth, and how he likes to use it. Remarkably, we're not talking about the quarterback's controversial political leanings that Giselle Bündchen has had to stop him from publicly expressing. No, Twitter was all-a-flutter Sunday night because of Tom Brady's penchant for mouth kissing.

Most of the furor started when people noticed Brady kiss Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, as they celebrated the win:

But Brady's kissing habits were under discussion in one form or another all day:

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And the internet has been particularly uncomfortable about Brady kissing his sons for some time now:

Brady's mouth kisses are, at this point, an established practice:

The problem is, the way a lot of people talk about them reeks of both toxic masculinity and homophobia. Many tweets openly suggested that Brady's familial kisses were sexual in motive. One claimed Brady "french kisses his son and Robert Kraft." Some suggested Brady's children were fearful of his affections. More implied Brady kissed his wife and his children in exactly the same way.

The wall of noise around the kisses speaks volumes about America's ongoing fear of seeing men kissing other men and ongoing discomfort with men demonstrating emotion and affection with their loved ones. It says a lot about our culture that even Tom Brady—married to a supermodel, and one of the most successful football players in American history—isn't considered manly enough to get away with giving other males pecks on the lips.

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Is Brady's penchant for mouth-kissing unusual? For an American, sure! But as long as mouths stay closed with relatives; as long as everyone kissing Tom Brady on the mouth looks perfectly happy about kissing Tom Brady on the mouth; and as long as Brady isn't running around trying to smooch unwilling participants, it's really nobody else's business. Maybe if the NFL had done right by Colin Kaepernick in time, Rihanna could've done the halftime show and America would've had something more interesting to talk about.

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