Six players of the New England Patriots have already announced and have made it very clear that they will not be attending the White House for their Super Bowl visit with their teammates this offseason.
Alan Branch, LeGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty, Dont’a Hightower and Chris Long all have said that they will not attend, with most of them stating that their decision was based in part on their disagreement with the policies of President Donald Trump.
Now they’re not the first athletes to skip the ceremonial White House trip. They’re actually not even the first Patriots to skip the trip as quarterback, Tom Brady skipped the visit two years ago, saying that he a had a scheduled family obligation as his reason.
Brady was asked in a recent interview with “PFT Live” about his teammates choosing not to attend.
“It really is a great experience,” Brady said. “Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing. At least, it never was to me. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates. Everyone has their own choice. It’s an offseason. These days are valuable for everybody. You only get so much time with your family and friends, and if people don’t want to go they don’t want to go and that’s their choice.”
Patriots owner, Robert Kraft made his opinion clear on the situation when he appeared on the “Today” show saying, “Well, you know what’s interesting: this is our, I’m happy to say, fifth Super Bowl in the last 16 years,” Kraft said. “And every time we’ve had the privilege of going to the White House, a dozen of our players don’t go. This is the first time it’s gotten any media attention. You know, some of the players have the privilege of going in college because they’re on national championship teams, others have family commitments. But this is America. We’re all free to do whatever’s best for us. We’re just privileged to be in a position to be going.”