Tom Brady’s paid alliance with crypto exchange FTX is burning before his eyes, on account of the fact that the exchange’s leader, ex-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, seems to have been wrapped up in a secret lending scam that allegedly misappropriated some $10 billion in user money.
Brady is clearly unnerved by the FTX blow up, as he (or his unlucky social media manager) keeps deleting tweets that mention either FTX or Bankman-Fried. We reached out to Brady’s team for comment; they did not immediately respond, perhaps because most of these tweets are stupid. They may have even been contractually required.
That said, Brady is not alone in excising the scandal from his timeline. Several dozen other crypto personalities, media figures, and celebrities have apparently removed FTX-related tweets, including Substacker Matt Yglesias, economist Tyler Cowen, Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and America’s favorite short screamer Anthony Scaramucci. (Jones and Lawrence both had sponsorships with FTX and its subsidiary, Blockfolio, respectively; FTX owns a stake in Scaramucci’s hedge fund, Skybridge Capital).
We confirmed that Brady had removed at least 15 tweets or retweets related to the crypto scandal (and those are just the ones Bankman-Fried retweeted). How do we know Brady deleted these tweets? Yesterday, crypto data firm The Tie shared an archive of Bankman-Fried’s deleted tweets and retweets. From cross-referencing the accounts with the text of the tweets, it’s clear several of Brady’s listed posts were indeed deleted. For one, they are all cached on Google. For another, several have left traces on Twitter. The link to this tweet from June, for example, is now broken. But one retweet remains live:
Same for this tweet from last October, which lives on as a retweet here:
Other times, replies to Brady’s tweets remained online, even after the original disappeared — as is this case with this Homer Simpson meme:
Much like Bankman-Fried’s protege and ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison’s possible Tumblr persona, we hate to see important information lost to digital obsolescence. So here are the tweets Brady disappeared (we have linked the caches in the timestamp).
- 2021-10-16 @TomBrady: Did I miss something??
- 2021-10-17 @TomBrady: Actually @giseleofficial, good call on the trade. https://t.co/yI6LmZAhEU
- 2021-10-25 @TomBrady: Hey @FTX_Official, let’s make a trade...Let’s get this guy a Bitcoin
- 2021-05-26 @TomBrady: Let’s do it, DM me the details https://t.co/xmnMx9atCq
- 2021-09-08 @TomBrady: Hey @GiseleOfficial @StephenCurry30 @Trevorlawrencee @mlb @kevinolearytv @LCSOfficial @MiamiHEAT @riotgames @TSM @stoolpresidente, you in? @ftx_official #FTXyouin
- 2021-10-20 @TomBrady: Tom Brady getting into Crypto was a top signal https://t.co/hc6qxQou9o
- 2021-06-29 @TomBrady: Chatting with @SBF_Alameda tonight at 7 on @Twitter Spaces. I’ll be answering the “Why does Tom Brady keep posting about crypto” questions…or atleast will try to!
- 2022-02-23 @TomBrady: My days of leaving dishes in the sink are numbered…
- 2022-04-27 @TomBrady: My guy @SBF_FTX has no time for TikToks… @FTX_Official #CryptoBahamas https://t.co/UFo1QuGn3Y
- 2022-04-28 @TomBrady: Day 2. Was just trying to get some minesweeper going. Sorry @SBF_FTX. https://t.co/yHvtlbIdAW
- 2022-06-01 @TomBrady: Tired of people saying my golf videos are fake. This stuff is easy, like @FTX_Official, or beating @PatrickMahomes when it matters, or @JoshAllenQB (literally anytime we play). [Ed. Note: He also evidently deleted an Instagram saying roughly the same thing].
- 2022-07-04 @TomBrady: I’m around if anyone needs me for their 4th of July barbecue. Fire it up @FTX_Official https://t.co/Gd27fcN5fx
- 2022-09-24 @TomBrady: Week 3 at home.. The cheese people are coming! @FTX_Official https://t.co/C9nalshaE4
- 2022-09-18 @TomBrady: Off to New Orleans to deal with some ghosts of seasons past! You ready? @FTX_Official https://t.co/s5oNS0mC00
- 2022-10-09 @TomBrady: The *Falcons* are coming to town… get it? Let’s get back on track Tampa! @FTX_Official #FTXPartner https://t.co/yYvW139hi3
Much like everything else related to this scandal, the revelation that Brady has been on a tweet-delete spree appears to be Bankman-Fried’s fault. The ex-billionaire has been tweeting through the scandal allegedly of his own making, vacillating between earnest foolishness and runelike nonsense. On Sunday, for example, he started a cryptic thread that began with the word “What,” and continued with single-letter tweets that seemed to spell a message.
When the New York Times asked Bankman-Fried about said tweets, his answer was even more mysterious:
“It’s going to be more than one word,” he said. “I’m making it up as I go.” So he was planning a series of cryptic tweets? “Something like that.” But why? “I don’t know,” he said. “I’m improvising. I think it’s time.”
One theory that emerged online was that Bankman-Fried was pulling yet another shady move. There are several bots that track whether high-profile accounts delete their own tweets. One of those is a Telegram channel called “CryptoDeleted,” which had identified that Bankman-Fried removed a few tweets related to the scandal the week prior. Some accounts theorized Bankman-Fried was trying to fool those bots by deleting old tweets at the same time he posted new ones. That way, his total tweet count would remain unchanged. Hence, the simple, single letters.
But other accounts with access to Bankman-Fried’s tweet history quickly debunked this theory. Many of the tweets that disappeared from Bankman-Fried’s profile had come from other users; he had merely retweeted them.
The Tie, which had archived Bankman-Fried’s tweets from the past year, found at least 118 tracked tweets that had since been deleted. They posted the spreadsheet outlining the dates, times, and original posters of those tweets. The vast majority, it turned out, had not come from Bankman-Fried himself, but from friends and colleagues he’d retweeted.
A significant plurality of those came from his close personal friend: Tom Brady. That seems appropriate enough, Brady has appeared in ads for FTX and owns an equity stake in the company. In a matter of weeks, Bankman-Fried basically depleted that stake’s value. All Brady’s doing is deleting the evidence.