Sights and sounds from the Patriots' White House visit

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 21, 2017

Brady released a statement saying he is "so happy and excited" that the Patriots are being honored at the White House. "You pulled off the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time", Trump said.

Wide Receiver Danny Amendola thanked Trump "for the shout out" and said he had a funeral to attend. The Boston Herald reported that Brady was spending time with his mother, who is fighting cancer.

Several Patriots players kept to their vows to skip the White House ceremony in protest at Donald Trump's presidency.

While other players had suggested political reasons for not attending, quarterback Tom Brady, the game's most valuable player, said family matters kept him away.

The New York Times appears to have struck a nerve in New England. The team has not officially commented on this development. "In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn", the team said on its Twitter account.

He also heaped praise upon Belichick, thanking him for writing a letter past year in support of his candidacy for president.

Players who stayed away included Martellus Bennett, LeGarrette Blount, Devin McCourty and Chris Long. Should the Patriots decline to match, the defending Super Bowl champion would receive a first-round pick compensation from Malcolm Butler's new team.

Trump has particularly close ties to the Patriots, counting owner Bob Kraft and coach Bill Belichick as friends.

Wednesday's visit also comes as the team grapples with the news that former Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found dead in jail. Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell while serving a life sentence for the 2011 murder of Odin Lloyd, just days after he was acquitted in a separate double murder case. During Spicer's live press briefing, the 27-year-old athlete strolled onto the scene to check if Spicer was okay in what Fox News calls a "lighthearted moment". Two players were brought to speak to reporters after the White House ceremony, but both said they had not known Hernandez.

While that is likely the main reason Brady did not make the trip to the White House, his wife presented another theory with a Wednesday tweet that she has since deleted.

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