Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has launched a class action lawsuit, alleging the NFL is rife with racism and has a "disingenuous commitment to social equity".

Flores is suing the league along with teams at whose hands he alleges he has personally experienced racism, naming the Dolphins along with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos as defendants, together with "John Doe Teams 1 through 29".

The suit, filed at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, demands a jury trial. The NFL said Flores' claims "are without merit", saying it would put up a defence. The three teams named by Flores also rejected his allegations.

Flores claims he inadvertently learned he had failed to get the Giants head coach job last week, even before his interview took place.

The suit contains screen grabs of an alleged text message conversation between New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Flores, in which Belichick congratulates Flores on what he believes is an impending appointment, only to realise he was messaging the wrong person, having intended to contact Brian Daboll, who got the Giants job.

During the text exchange, Flores questioned whether Belichick had messaged the correct person, with the Patriots coach having indicated he had inside knowledge on who would land the job. According to the lawsuit's contents, Belichick at this point realised his error and apologised to Flores, who worked for him for 10 years with the Patriots.

The NFL has a 'Rooney Rule' in place. It requires all teams seeking a new head coach "to interview at least one or more diverse candidates", and the lawsuit alleges on this occasion the Giants interview was "a sham" that "humiliated" Flores.

A spokesman for the Giants, Pat Hanlon, was quoted by the New York Times on Tuesday as saying the team was "confident with the process that resulted in the hiring of Brian Daboll", adding that Flores was "in the conversation to be our head coach until the eleventh hour".

It is also alleged in the lawsuit that Flores "was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule" by the Broncos in 2019 and was never intended to be "a legitimate candidate", while also criticising the interview board.

The Broncos have described the various claims against the franchise as "blatantly false" and "baseless and disparaging claims".

A number of allegations are made in the suit about Flores' time with the Dolphins, which came to an end only last month.

The Dolphins responded by saying they "vehemently deny any allegations of racial discrimination and are proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organisation".

The class action alleges: "The NFL remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of black head coaches, coordinators and general managers. Over the years, the NFL and its 32-member organisations have been given every chance to do the right thing.

"Rules have been implemented, promises made – but nothing has changed. In fact, the racial discrimination has only been made worse by the NFL's disingenuous commitment to social equity."

It also contains a series of allegations that it points to as evidence the NFL as a whole has a racism problem when it comes to the hiring of black individuals, alleging it is "racially segregated and is managed much like a plantation".

In response, the NFL said: ​"The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organisations.

"Diversity is core to everything we do, and there are few issues on which our clubs and our internal leadership team spend more time. We will defend against these claims, which are without merit."

Heavyweight boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk trained with Ukrainian second-tier side Polissya on Tuesday ahead of making his football debut. 

WBA, WBO and IBF title-holder Usyk swapped his gloves for some boots as he took part in a session during Polissya's mid-season training camp in the Turkish city of Antalya. 

The 35-year-old this week announced he will take part in a friendly against Veres Rivne on Thursday and uploaded footage of himself preparing in the changing room and taking part in some drills on Instagram. 

Polissya also published clips of Usyk taking part in a training game. 

After a short experiment on the pitch, Usyk will likely head back to the ring and prepare for a rematch against Anthony Joshua after dethroning the Briton by unanimous decision last September. 

It had been reported that Joshua was considering accepting a fee to step aside and let Usyk take on WBC champion Tyson Fury in a blockbuster unification bout, but those talks are now believed to have broken down. 

Sadio Mane will be hoping to fire Senegal back into the Africa Cup of Nations final when they take on Burkina Faso in the semi-finals on Wednesday. 

Senegal's hopes of winning a first AFCON title were dashed by Algeria back in 2019 but they are looking to become the first team since Egypt in 2010 to reach successive finals – and this time they will be desperate to go one better and lift the trophy.

History appears to be in their favour too. That loss to Algeria is the Lions of Teranga's only defeat in their past six knockout games in the competition, and they have only conceded two goals in that span.  

Furthermore, they are unbeaten in their two previous AFCON meetings with Burkina Faso, though both of those came in the group stage. 

But Burkina Faso are no strangers to this stage of the competition. They have made the final four for the fourth time in their history and the third time in the past five editions – this despite not even qualifying for the 2019 tournament. 

Kamou Malo's team did well to upset Tunisia in the quarter-finals, though they will be without their goalscorer Dango Ouattara after his red card in the 82nd minute of their 1-0 victory. 

Malo said: "I think that at this level of competition, there are no limits. Don't worry, we all have the same goal, which is to win this trophy. 

"As for my desire to go all the way in this competition, yes, there is no doubt about that. We are ready to be extremely competitive to go to the end of this competition." 

Burkina Faso's hopes of pulling off another upset will rely heavily on keeping Mane at bay. 

The Liverpool star may have just two goals in Cameroon, but only Mohamed Salah (14), Sofiane Boufal (11) and Ibrahim Sangare (eight) have outdone his seven open-play key passes in the competition.

One to watch: Gustavo Sangare (Burkina Faso) 

With Ouattara absent due to suspension, Sangare will be expected to step up on the opposite wing. 

He has already been important for Burkina Faso, scoring the opening goal of the tournament in a 2-1 loss to hosts Cameroon in the group stage – no one in the squad has found the net on more than one occasion in the competition. 

But it is his ingenuity that the Stallions could use more than anything. Only Zakaria Sanogo and Blati Toure (four each) have created more chances from open play for Burkina Faso than Sangare's three, while the Quevilly winger has been involved in a team-high three goal-ending sequences. 

He has proven to be a real threat with the ball at his feet and could help thwart Senegal and send the underdogs into the showpiece. 

England advanced to the final of the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup with a nail-biting 15-run win over Afghanistan in their Super League semi-final at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds in Antigua today.

In the rain-affected 47-overs per side encounter, England set a score of 231-6 off their 47 overs.

George Bell with 56 not out off 67 balls and Alex Horton with 53 not out off 36 balls were the main contributors for the English.

Opener George Thomas also got a half-century for England, 50 off 69 balls.

Naveed Zadran and Noor Ahmad took two wickets each for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan looked comfortable for the majority of their chase, reaching 94-2 in the 24th over before a flurry of wickets put them in a spot of bother.

The Asian outfit continued to battle and found themselves needing 18 off two overs with four wickets in hand before England leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed took three wickets in the penultimate and 46th over to pretty much end all hopes for the Afghans.

Eventually, Afghanistan ended 215-9 off their 47 overs.

Allah Noor with 60 and Mohammad Ishaq with 43 were the top scorers for Afghanistan against Ahmed’s 4-41 off six overs.

England will now face the winners of tomorrow’s second semi-final between Australia and India in the final to be played on February 5th.

Roger Goodell's description of Tom Brady on Tuesday as merely "one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL" felt a little generous to the competition. 

In the period of claim and counter-claim between reports of his retirement on Saturday and confirmation on Tuesday, the verdict had been cast – not that it was ever in doubt. 

Among others, Patrick Mahomes, better placed than most to consider quality quarterback play, told ESPN: "His career is one of a kind. That's why he's the GOAT." 

There is no dispute, no debate: Brady is the greatest. 

The 44-year-old leads the way by most metrics, including the most important one, with an unprecedented seven Super Bowl championships. 

Yet the stunning nature of some of those successes mean the emotional argument in Brady's favour is as convincing as the statistical one. 

Unmoved by his NFL-record 84,520 passing yards? Try the Super Bowl LI comeback against the Atlanta Falcons. 

This career had it all, and most dissenting voices had long since disappeared by the time Brady arrived in Tampa in 2020 "as the greatest football player of all time", as Bruce Arians put it. He still had another title in him. 

But Brady has not just set the standard in the NFL for the past 22 years; his achievements are surely unmatched across the entire sporting world. 

BEATING THE BEST

Wrestling with past legacies is never easy for an elite sports star. Even as the best of their generation, comparisons will be drawn with those who have gone before. 

In the case of LeBron James in the NBA, Michael Jordan casts a long shadow. 

James may now widely be considered the second-greatest player in the history of the league, but the gap to the number one spot scarcely seems to be closing, even now with titles and Finals MVP recognition on three different teams – and his own Space Jam sequel. 

Elsewhere, Formula One's Lewis Hamilton has done what James could not with Jordan in matching Michael Schumacher's haul of titles. 

But when Hamilton closed in on a record-breaking eighth drivers' championship in 2021, rival Sebastian Vettel scoffed: "Even if Lewis wins, to me Michael is still the greatest. Lewis can win one more, two more, three more, five more championships, but it doesn't change anything for me." 

The combination of being unable to see two athletes side by side and having memories tinged with nostalgia makes life hard on the modern great. 

For Brady, Joe Montana was the closest thing to a Jordan or Schumacher figure at quarterback. 

Although Montana ranked sixth for all-time passing yards – Dan Marino, the 20th century's passing yards leader, never won a title – his four Super Bowls had matched Terry Bradshaw's benchmark and were still fresh enough in the memory in 2000, the last coming in the 1989 season. 

Yet that was a gap Brady was swiftly able to bridge. By August 2005, with three rings already in his collection, the headline of a GQ profile asked if the Patriots passer was "the best there ever was". 

At 27, 10 years younger than James and Hamilton are now, there appeared little doubt Brady would leave Marino behind. 

TOP OF HIS CLASS

Perhaps Brady benefited from the standard of the competition. His career overlapped with Brett Favre at the start, Mahomes at the end and met with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers somewhere around the middle, all of them forcing him to raise his game. 

But such depth of talent can so easily muddy the waters. 

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have matched each other stride for stride, meaning there remains no consensus pick for football's 'GOAT'. Both merit the position, yet neither have dominated an era like Pele or Diego Maradona. 

In tennis, the tussle is even more intense. Until Rafael Nadal's Australian Open triumph on Sunday, three men were tied on a record 20 grand slam titles. 

Injuries to Roger Federer and coronavirus complications with Novak Djokovic may be enough to keep Nadal at the summit, but personal preference dictates the all-time rankings when the margins are so fine. 

Again, however, Brady came through. None of those modern-day rivals have won three Super Bowls, let alone matching Montana's four or Brady's staggering seven. 

Mahomes had appeared the most likely to challenge that mark in the years to come, but four seasons as a starter have now yielded one title. At the same point, Brady had three and that GQ headline. 

"To win that many Super Bowls and win that many games, it's hard," Mahomes said after losing Sunday's AFC Championship Game. "I understand that. The years that I've had, I've been close a lot.  

"I've only been there twice, and I've only won once. I understand it takes a special player ... for that to happen." 

In Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and Justin Herbert, Mahomes will not have it easy going forward either – an exciting new generation guarding Brady's legacy, not that he could not have done it himself had he chosen to play on. 

Brady, in the regular season and playoffs, holds a 3-2 record against Mahomes, 4-0 against Allen and 1-0 against Herbert. He never faced Burrow, potentially the next Super Bowl-winning QB. 

Instead, the perennial winner departs not as a champion – he has been that enough times – but as undoubtedly the best player his sport has ever seen. A rare phenomenon indeed. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has left Arsenal by mutual consent ahead of his expected move to Barcelona.

Mason Greenwood has been further arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and threats to kill.

The 20-year-old Manchester United footballer continues to be questioned on suspicion of rape and assault of a woman, having been arrested on Sunday.

Greater Manchester Police said in a statement: "Detectives have been granted further additional time to speak to a man in his 20s who was arrested on suspicion of rape and assault of a woman.

"The suspect was detained in custody on Sunday (30 January) afternoon after we became aware of online social media images and videos posted by a woman reporting incidents of physical violence.

"He continues to be questioned after magistrates authorised an extension until tomorrow (Wednesday 2 February).

"Following enquiries so far, he has since been further arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and threats to kill.

"Enquiries are ongoing and the victim continues to be offered specialist support."

United said on Sunday that Greenwood would take no part in training or matches "until further notice" following allegations made on social media. The club said they do not condone violence of any kind.

There has been no public comment from Greenwood since the allegations.

In a statement on Monday, sportswear company Nike said it had put its relationship with the player on hold.

Greenwood signed a first professional contract with United in October 2018 and agreed a new four-year deal last year, after establishing himself in the Premier League club's first-team squad.

Tom Brady was hailed as the ultimate team player by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft after the superstar quarterback confirmed his retirement.

Mention of the Patriots was conspicuously absent from Brady's long retirement note, despite the 44-year-old winning six Super Bowls with the team.

He saw out the final two years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, adding another Super Bowl ring to achieve an unprecedented haul.

Regardless of whether Brady deliberately left the Patriots out of his farewell note, there remains obvious affection from Kraft towards the team's former main man, and Brady later expressed his gratitude for Kraft's message on social media.

Together with coach Bill Belichick, Brady helped New England become the most successful team in the NFL since the turn of the century.

Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Patriots, said: "Words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady, nor adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for Tom for all he did during his career. A generation of football fans have grown up knowing only an NFL in which Tom Brady dominated.

"He retires with nearly every NFL career passing record, yet the only one that ever mattered to him was the team's win-loss record. In his 20 years as a starter his teams qualified for the playoffs 19 times. He led his teams to 10 Super Bowls, winning an NFL-record seven championships.

"In a team sport like football, it is rare to see an individual have such a dominant impact on a team's success.

"You didn't have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination and will to win that fuelled his success. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true.

"I have the greatest respect for Tom personally and always will. His humility, coupled with his drive and ambition, truly made him special. I will always feel a close bond to him and will always consider him an extension of my immediate family."

Brady later expressed his appreciation on Twitter, simply writing: "Thank you Patriots Nation. I'm beyond grateful. Love you all."

A brace from Abdullah Fawaz, including a late penalty, earned Oman a 2-2 draw with Australia, putting a dent in the Socceroos' hopes of an automatic qualifying spot for the 2022 World Cup.

While they are guaranteed at least a playoff spot in Group B of Asia's World Cup qualifiers, Australia now sit three points behind Japan and four adrift of leaders Saudi Arabia with two games to play.

Australia were denied the lead in the fifth minute after Trent Sainsbury's header from an Aaron Mooy free-kick was ruled out by an offside flag, but the visitors had a penalty just nine minutes later when Oman goalkeeper Faiyz Al Rusheidi brought down Martin Boyle, and Jamie Maclaren successfully placed his spot kick high to the keeper's left.

Oman levelled in sensational style early in the second half as Abdullah received a pass from the left by Munzer Al-Alawi before firing a fierce strike high into the top-left corner, giving Mat Ryan no chance.

Australia regained the lead with just over ten minutes to go when a cross from the left was headed down to substitute Mitchell Duke, who cushioned the ball back for Mooy to fire past Al Rusheidi.

However, more drama followed as substitute Muhsen Al Ghassani was felled by Fran Karacic in the box, and Abdullah sent Ryan the wrong way with his penalty to earn Oman a draw and dampen Australia's hopes of a top-two finish.

Everton new boy Dele Alli has issued a message of gratitude to former club Tottenham after making a deadline day move to Goodison Park – and made special mention of former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Alli's seven-year spell at Tottenham came to an end on Monday, leaving for Merseyside in what is said to be an initial free transfer.

Everton will reportedly be obliged to pay £10million for the midfielder after he makes 20 appearances, with subsequent performance-based add-ons that may take the eventual figure as high as £40m.

The 25-year-old recorded 67 goals and 55 assists in 269 games for Spurs, having moved to White Hart Lane from MK Dons in 2015.

Alli took to social media on Tuesday to thank his former club, saying they will "always" be in his heart.

"It's the end of a chapter but not the book," he wrote. "Thank you for all the messages. I've had an incredible seven years at Tottenham and have made some lifelong friends that now feel like family! I want to wish my brothers all the best for the rest of the season and more. 

"To the fans I want to say thank you. We've had some incredible moments together that will stay with me for the rest of my life and I will never forget the amazing support you have given me. Playing for you was a dream come true and you will always be in my heart.

"I want to give a special mention to Mauricio [Pochettino] and his staff for their trust and guidance in the early part of my career at Spurs, which gave me the confidence and platform to show what I can do. 

"I love you all and wish you the best for the future!"

Tom Brady has called time on his NFL career after 22 seasons, at the age of 44.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback officially announced his decision on Tuesday after days of speculation, with the news initially having been reported on Saturday.

It means Brady's final game in the sport was the dramatic Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams, in which he had led the Bucs in a remarkable late comeback.

That display, at the end of a season in which Brady led the league in passing yards (5,316) and touchdown passes (43), had elements of everything that made him the greatest of all time.

Brady's legacy has long been unmatched but will not now be added to, as he watches the 2022 season from his sofa.

There is little prospect of any other QB coming close in the near future, however, as Stats Perform examines the stunning numbers behind his record-breaking career.

THE BREES BATTLE

Brady's seven Super Bowls counted for more than any other statistic ever could, but there was still intrigue around his battle with Drew Brees for a number of all-time passing marks.

Brees was drafted by the San Diego Chargers the year after Brady was selected by the New England Patriots, forever pitting the pair against one another.

But the long-time New Orleans Saints QB did not quite have Brady's longevity, retiring a year earlier, and allowed the gap between the two men's achievements to widen in 2021.

Brady leads the NFL with 84,520 passing yards, ahead of the second-placed Brees and his 80,358.

In terms of touchdown passes, it is a similar story. Brady's 624 top the charts, with Brees his nearest challenger on 571.

Brees also ranks second for seasons with 20 touchdown passes (17) and team points per game among quarterbacks with at least 100 starts (27.4). Brady (19 and 28.3) is the main man in both categories.

WINS, WINS, WINS

There is an enduring debate over whether wins are a quarterback statistic, but one would have a hard time arguing otherwise in Brady's case. Even after benefiting from Bill Belichick's coaching for 20 years, the veteran headed to Tampa and won right away.

Brady finishes with 243 QB wins, meaning an incredible margin to second-placed pair Peyton Manning and Brett Favre on 186.

In fact, Brady has 69 wins in the month of December alone. In terms of a single month, Favre is next, with 52 wins also in December.

It should come as no surprise then that Brady has the best record among QBs with at least 100 starts, his .769 again comfortably ahead of the next-best performance, Roger Staubach's .746.

Of course, Brady has kept winning as each season has extended into the postseason.

He has 35 playoff wins, too many to compare to one rival QB alone. Among all NFL teams excluding Brady's Pats and Bucs, the Baltimore Ravens have won the most playoff games since 2000. They are on 16.

STILL GOING STRONG

Brady's 2021 performance made his decision to quit at this stage something of a shock. Even in his mid-40s, there have been no signs of slowing.

This was Brady's 19th different season with 3,000 passing yards – clear of Favre's 18 – and his fifth 4,000-yard season just since he turned 40.

Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Staubach and Steve Young combined for three seasons with 4,000 passing yards for their careers.

Tom Brady was saluted for "an absolutely incredible" career by Peyton Manning as the seven-time Super Bowl winner ended doubts by confirming his retirement.

Reports of Brady being ready to quit at the weekend were disputed – he was "still going through the process" on Monday – but they proved to be accurate as the 44-year-old declared on Tuesday he has played his final game.

Manning, himself one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen, doffed his cap to superstar Brady as he remembered a rival with whom he shared a firm comradeship.

"Congratulations to my friend Tom on an unbelievable football career," Manning said.

"To do it as long as he did, at the highest of levels is absolutely incredible. It was an honour and a privilege to compete against him on the field, and I truly appreciate his friendship off the field.

"I have always admired and respected his competitiveness, his dedication, his discipline, and his commitment to being the best. I wish him the best in his next chapter. Congratulations again, pal!"

Manning, one year Brady's senior, retired in 2016 after winning two Super Bowls, one each with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. He has since been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it will be Brady's turn in five years' time, when he becomes eligible.

Brady spent two years with the Bucs to round off his career, having won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.

A seventh ring arrived in season one in Tampa, but Brady could not guide Bruce Arians' team to another Super Bowl this time around.

Head coach Arians expressed his sorrow that Brady felt it was now time to go.

Arians said: "Tom joined us as the greatest football player of all time, and he quickly showed everyone in our organisation what that meant.

"He set a standard and helped create a culture that took our team to the mountaintop.

"It has been an honour to be his head coach for the past two seasons. I wish it didn't have to end, but few players have the opportunity to leave the game on their own terms. Even fewer can do it while playing at an elite level. Tom is the exception.

"I have a deep appreciation and respect for what he has done for our franchise, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best in this chapter of life after football."

The Patriots, who were not directly thanked in a long retirement note from Brady, remarked on his retirement with a fond farewell

In a statement on Instagram, the Patriots said: "It was quite the ride. Thank you and congratulations, @tombrady."

Brady's warm words for the Bucs spoke of his enjoyment of his two-year ride into the sunset.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who previously worked for the Patriots, said: "I have had the distinct pleasure of being with Tom at both the beginning and end of his incredible NFL career. These past two seasons, I had the privilege to see up close the way he operates and the impact he has on a franchise – from coaches to players to staff.

"He set a standard for accountability, work ethic and performance that resonated through our building and in our locker room. His list of career accomplishments speaks for itself, but to finish a 22-year career while still performing at his peak was nothing short of extraordinary."

Tom Brady "set a standard that players will chase for years" during his storied NFL career that commissioner Roger Goodell paid tribute to following the legendary quarterback's retirement.

An ESPN report on Saturday revealed Brady was set to bring his career to a close after 22 seasons in the NFL.

Those claims were soon disputed, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar "still going through the process" on Monday as he discussed his future.

But Tuesday brought an official statement from the 44-year-old on his Instagram page.

Brady commented that the sport required "100 per cent competitive commitment" but he could no longer live up to that expectation, choosing instead to focus "time and energy on other things that require my attention".

His retirement sees the NFL lose an icon and star who has thrilled audiences for nearly quarter of a century, with his seven Super Bowl wins unmatched by anyone in the sport's history, and Goodell paid tribute to Brady's longevity and legacy.

"Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play in the NFL," Goodell said in a statement.

"An incredible competitor and leader, his stellar career is remarkable for its longevity but also for the sustained excellence he displayed year after year.

"Tom made everyone around him better and always seemed to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments.

"His record five Super Bowl MVP awards and seven Super Bowl championships set a standard that players will chase for years.

"He inspired fans in New England, Tampa and around the world with one of the greatest careers in NFL history. 

"It has been a privilege to watch him compete and have him in the NFL. We thank him for his many contributions to our game and wish Tom and his family all the best in the future."

Tom Brady said he "loved" his NFL career but insists that "now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention".

The legendary quarterback, whose career spanned 22 years and saw him win an unprecedented seven Super Bowl titles, officially announced his retirement from the game in a statement on his Instagram page on Tuesday.

However, the 44-year-old notably did not mention his former team the New England Patriots, with whom he spent 20 seasons and won six Super Bowls.

Below is Brady's statement in full:

"I have always believed the sport of football is an 'all-in' proposition – if a 100 per cent competitive commitment isn't there, you won't succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game.

"There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximise my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.

"This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment any more. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.

"I've done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors and fans deserve 100 per cent of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.

"To my Bucs teammates the past two years, I love you guys and I have loved going to battle with you. You have dug so deep to challenge yourself, and it inspired me to wake up every day and give you my best. I am always here for you guys and want to see you continue to push yourselves to be your best. I couldn't be happier with what we accomplished together.

"To all the Bucs fans, thank you. I didn't know what to expect when I arrived here, but your support and embrace have enriched my life and that of my family. I have been honored to play for such a passionate and fun fan base. What a Krewe!!!

"To the city of Tampa and the entire Tampa-St. Petersburg region, thank you. It has been wonderful to be a resident of such a fun place to live. I want to be invited to our next boat parade!

"To the Glazer family, thank you for taking a chance on me and supporting me. I know I was demanding at times, but you provided everything we needed to win, and your ownership was everything a player could ask for.

"To Jason Licht, thank you for your daily support and friendship - I will never forget it. I had never been through free agency, and I had some trepidation about how we could achieve success. Your leadership gave me confidence, and I will always be grateful.

"To my head coach Bruce Arians, thanks for putting up with me! Your firm leadership and guidance were ideal. There is no way we could have had success without your experience, intuition and wisdom. I am very grateful.

"To all the Bucs coaches, my sincere thanks for all the hard work, dedication and discipline that goes into creating a winning team. I have learned so much from all of you and will value the relationships we have.

"To every single Bucs staffer and employee, thank you. Each of you is critically important, and I was greeted with a smile every day. That means so much to me. Your work is made up of long hours and hard tasks, but please know I see each and every one of you. Thank you so much.

"To Alex Guerrero, thank you. I could never have made every Sunday without you; it's that simple. Your dedication to your craft and our friendship and brotherhood are immeasurable. We have an unbreakable bond and I love you.

"To Don Yee and Steve Dubin, thank you. You've been with me every step of the way since I left the University of Michigan and before I entered the league. What a journey it's been, and I couldn't do it without you.

"To my parents and entire family (and extended family of countless friends), I love you and thank you for your never-ending support and love. I could never have imagined the time and energy you have given me the past 30 years in football. I can never repay you. And just know I love you so much.

"And lastly to my wife Gisele, and my children Jack, Benny and Vivi. You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement. I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family. Te amo amor da minha vida.

"My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you're in it every day, you really don't think about any kind of ending. As I sit here now, however, I think of all the great players and coaches I was privileged to play with and against - the competition was fierce and deep, JUST HOW WE LIKE IT.

"But the friendships and relationships are just as fierce and deep. I will remember and cherish these memories and re-visit them often. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

"The future is exciting. I'm fortune to have co-founded incredible companies like Autograph.io, Brady Brand and TB12 Sports that I'm excited to continue to help build and grow, but exactly what my days will look like will be a work-in-progress. As I said earlier, I am going to take it day by day.

"I know for sure I want to spend a lot of time giving to others and trying to enrich other people's lives, just as so many have done for me.

"With much love, appreciation and gratitude. Tom"

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.