New England Patriots players and Super Bowl champions Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett have both independently said that they won’t attend the team’s ceremonial visit to the White House to celebrate their title with President Donald Trump.
Bennett spoke of his plans Sunday night after the Patriots’ victory:
The thoughts of Patriots owner Bob Kraft, a longtime friend of Trump, wouldn’t really matter for a few reasons, but one of them includes the fact that Bennett will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
McCourty, a team captain, told Time magazine Monday that he wouldn’t go:
“I’m not going to the White House,” McCourty wrote in a text message to TIME from the team bus. “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 said he believed attending the event is a personal choice and “I can’t imagine a way I go there.”
It’s not exactly shocking that Bennett and McCourty were the guys in New England to reach this decision. In the Patriots’ first game of the regular season, both players raised their fists after the national anthem.
The two players appear willing to own their decision, unlike Tom Brady, who two years ago claimed a “prior family commitment” when he skipped the Patriots’ White House visit with Barack Obama, and instead spent his day working out and shopping at the Apple Store.