“I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today,” Brady said in a statement released by ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Thank you to the president for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember. In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend today’s ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters.”
Most of the team will get together at the White House to celebrate its Super Bowl win with President Donald Trump.
Trump has repeatedly spoken and tweeted about his fandom of the Patriots and his friendship with Brady and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a known Trump supporter.
Several members of the team will not attend the ceremony because of the man whose hand they would be shaking.
Chris Long, Alan Branch, LeGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett, Dont’a Hightower and Devin McCourty said they are not making the trip to Washington, D.C.
“We’ll have a lot of fun at the ring ceremony,” McCourty told WFXT. “We had a lot of fun at the afterparty. We had a lot of fun on the plane coming back. The ring ceremony is really the thing where the last time the team gets together… where you get to enjoy everyone on that team. So I don’t, me personally, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.”
Brady also did not participate two years ago when the team met with then-President Barack Obama at the White House to celebrate its Super Bowl 49 win.
Brady did not cite politics as a reason.
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