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Tom Brady, who has a net worth of about $250 million, and ex-wife Gisele Bündchen, with an estimated $400 million to her name, donated less than 0.1% of their worth to charity.
The majority of donations were to yoga and meditation groups, including a $25,000 donation to the David Lynch Foundation in 2017. In total, the Luz Foundation (Tom and Gisele’s joint charity) gave out $640,402 between 2007 and 2019. That amount equals to 0.1% of their combined net worth. Among others, the former couple are also being sued by FTX investors who lost billions in the recent crypto collapse.
Since its founding, their charity had only given out some small grants to various causes, according to public records. One 2018 grant was for $300 to an environmental group in Costa Rica, where the pair owned a beachfront palace. They also gave $900 to the World Wildlife Fund and $1,000 to the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
On Thursday, it was reported Brady’s own charity, TB12, Inc., was in the red as recently as 2020, with a negative balance of $7 million in net assets after several years of profit. During that year, Brady was under fire when it was revealed TB12, Inc. received nearly $1 million in loans from the federal Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
The Daily Beast reports data from the SBA shows TB12, Inc.’s loan of $960,000, which the company claimed would support 80 jobs, was forgiven. The loan was approved on April 15, 2020, about four weeks after Brady signed a two-year, $50-million contract with the Buccaneers, and three months after TB12, Inc. acquired the nutrition and wellness company VitalFit for an undisclosed sum.
Brady is alleged to have diverted donations from the TB12 Foundation for sports therapy sessions instead. Like Brett Favre, who was involved in $5 million fraud scheme which hurt those most vulnerable, Brady too, has robbed those in need of an opportunity to better their outcomes.
The TB12 foundation claims in part, to empower “those at-risk to overcome economic or health-related obstacles to reach their performance goals.” Well, that’s pretty difficult to do when its founder is taking money and resources from whomever is “at-risk.”
The Daily Beast reported that as recently as 2020, the TB12 Foundation managed to fund Brady’s for-profit company, TB12 LLC, with over $1.6 million, making the Foundation the LLC’s biggest contractor.
Laurie Styron, executive director of independent nonprofit monitor CharityWatch, said, “When a charity has related for-profit legal entity, it can turn into an accountability black hole,” Styron added. “If the charity is granting or reimbursing funds to the for-profit entity, and the for-profit is then paying money to other companies or individuals, there is a danger that charitable dollars are indirectly subsidizing the expenses of the for-profit. Money is fungible.”
“A lot of philanthropy is some combination of providing public good while garnering public goodwill for a charity’s funders,” Styron said. “But in this case, the person who appears to be benefiting from the public goodwill isn’t providing significant funding to the organization.”
She continued, “I can say that I haven’t come across this type of arrangement too often in my 19 years of nonprofit financial analysis in a watchdog role.”
Like Brett Favre, Tom Brady finds himself intertwined in multiple financial controversies. Favre not only utilized welfare funds to build a volleyball facility, but now it’s been reported that two drug companies supported by Favre “overstated their NFL connections and exaggerated the known effectiveness of their drugs during efforts to raise money,” according to ESPN’s Mark Fainaru-Wada.
Also like Favre, Brady peddled everything from nutritional supplements, home workout equipment and nutritional products all centered around his New York Times best-selling book The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.
In the book Brady attributes his freakish longevity and durability to the pseudoscientific concept of “muscle pliability”, a loosely defined concept invented by his “body coach” turned business partner Alex Guerrero, a controversial self-taught exercise guru.
According to The Guardian, Guerrero has twice been investigated by the Federal Trade Commission – first in 2005 for falsely passing himself off as a doctor and claiming to be able to cure cancer, Aids, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease with a dietary supplement called Supreme Greens. Seven years later for a sports drink called NeuroSafe (infamously endorsed by Brady), which he promised could prevent concussions. As reported by the Baltimore Post Examiner, there have been at least 1,596 NFL concussions since 2015. If Tom really had the cure, players would’ve followed the GOAT, but as Tom is beginning to see, nobody’s drinking the kool aid.
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