Two New England Patriots players, Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty, will not attend the Super Bowl White House visit. The two made it clear that they won’t be accepting the invitation from President Donald Trump to visit him in Washington.
Even before the Patriots made a historic comeback win against the Falcons on Sunday, Bennett already said he won’t be going to the White House if they win. “I can’t imagine a way I go there.” He did not elaborate why.
McCourty, Bennett Have Strong Opinions Against Super Bowl White House Visit
Right after the Patriots won, McCourty followed suit. He said that he doesn’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.”
Both Bennett and McCourty have been vocal critics of President Donald Trump. Earlier in the season, they raised their fists while the national anthem was being sung. This is in defiance to Trump’s anti-immigrants and misogynistic comments during the campaign period.
Back then, Bennett said, “America was built on inclusiveness, not exclusiveness.” He also maintained that he won’t be attending any events with Trump.
The Patriots tight end is not even worried what his owner, coach, and quarterback Tom Brady will say about his non-appearance in the White House. Trump is friends with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady.
Although he has always been vocal about his friendship with Trump, Brady stayed clear of the controversial businessman-turned-politician during the campaign period for the presidency. It is widely believed, however, that he was a silent campaigner for Trump.
Athletes Allowed To Skip White House Visit
This isn’t the first time that athletes will skip the traditional White House visit. Even Brady skipped it in 2015 when the Patriots won the Super Bowl XLIX. Many believed it was because he was disapproving of former President Barack Obama.
Last year, former Broncos and current Texas quarterback Brock Osweiler did not go to the White House because he was practicing with his new teammates. Steelers’ James Harrison skipped the invitation twice in 2006 and 2009 because he doesn’t feel it was that special.
In the NBA, legendary players Michael Jordan and Larry Bird skipped attending the White House ceremony, too. Jordan did not attend it during George H.W. Bush while Bird did not see the need to meet Ronald Reagan.
Bennett and McCourty’s teammates shouldn’t feel bad about their decision to skip the Super Bowl White House visit. This is clearly a matter of personal beliefs and values.
At least one Super Bowl champion will NOT be visiting the White House pic.twitter.com/0qUdFRyyQn
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 7, 2017