Making American White Men Great Again: Tom Brady, Donald Trump, and the Allure of White Male Omnipotence in Post-Obama America

  • Kyle W. KuszEmail author


In this chapter, I critically examine cultural representations—advertisements, journalistic accounts, social media, documentaries, and even film and television cameos—of New England Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady to show how they articulate with many similar racial, gender, and class ideas and affects that organize the Trump campaign and presidency. More specifically, I illuminate how Brady’s white masculinity is often coded as unapologetic about his socio-economic privileges, omnipotent in his manliness, and as a master of his body and athletic craft. In short, Brady embodies a living fantasy of white male omnipotence that serves symbolically as an imagined solution to white male anxiety for those who feel that the United States is in the midst of a culture war against white men and traditional American culture and values. In each of these ways, cultural (and self-) representations of Brady’s white masculinity showcase the new preferred representational logics used to render white masculinity visible within this latest wave of backlash politics that extends from the Trump White House through popular culture to the online spaces that brought the alt-right life. At stake in this politics is the renewal of white male prerogative as the taken-for-granted governing logic of American civic life.


Whiteness Masculinity Manliness Sport media Culture wars White masculinity Donald Trump Tom Brady 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English and Gender and Women’s StudiesUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA

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