BOSTON (CBS) – Football and politics don’t always go hand in hand. But on Labor Day in Boston they did, thanks to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady, who successfully challenged his 4-game DeflateGate suspension, was referenced multiple times during the annual Labor Day union rally and breakfast at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston.

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Among those mentioning Brady was President Barack Obama, who didn’t waste any time with a DeflateGate reference.

“It’s always good to be back in Boston, especially when the weather’s like this. Pretty soon fall is going to be in the air. Students are coming back. The Pats kick off on Thursday. Brady is free,” Obama said with a smile.

“Even Brady’s happy he’s got a union,” the president said later in his speech. “When Brady needs a union, we definitely need a union.”

Earlier in the event, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey joked about Brady’s union success.

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“No one will question the balls of a union member ever again,” joked Markey, referencing Brady and his allegedly deflated footballs.

Steve Tolman, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, mentioned Brady during his speech as well.

“It’s because of the union that Tom Brady had the right to challenge the unfair punishment handed down by the NFL,” Tolman told the crowd.

Obama’s sports references weren’t limited to the Patriots.

The president compared a government shutdown to the infamous botched World Series ground ball by Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series.

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“It’s like a ground ball slipping through someone’s legs,” Obama said, warranting some groans. “You guys have won a couple since then so I can make that joke. If you hadn’t won so many since then I wouldn’t have made that joke.”