These Patriots’ Players Are Refusing To Meet Donald Trump For Super Bowl Honor
UPDATE: 2/8/17 1:33 P.M. EST
Another New England Patriots player has declined to visit the White House on behalf of their Super Bowl honor. In a text message to TIME, Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty explained he’s not a fan of President Donald Trump’s political agenda. “I’m not going to the White House,” he said on Monday (Feb. 6). “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”
McCourty joins tight end Martellus Bennett in his demonstration. In the past, both players have stood in political statements with other athletes like Colin Kaepernick. During a game between the Patriots and the St. Louis Cardinals in September, the men raised their black power fists in solidarity with the player and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The New England Patriots will more than likely pay a trip to the White House following their big Super Bowl win, but you won’t see tight end Martellus Bennett in the crowd.
On Sunday evening (Feb. 5), Bennett shared with Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News that he doesn’t plan on meeting President Donald Trump.
Bennett hinted towards a silent boycott last week when he was asked about the traditional event. “I don’t know, I’ve got to win a Super Bowl,” he said. “But, most likely no. I don’t support the guy that’s in the house.” The first Super Bowl champs to celebrate at The White House were the Pittsburgh Steelers when former President Jimmy Carter was in office in 1980. Carter also honored the Pittsburgh Pirates who were the World Series champs at the time. ESPN cites Ronald Regan was the first president to welcome athletes to the White House on a regular basis.
Other athletes who have declined invites to the White House include Michael Jordan during the George Bush administration, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart during Barack Obama’s tenure and Mark Chmura during the Bill Clinton era. Tom Brady missed Obama’s Super Bowl XLIX bash in 2015 citing a “family commitment.”