Tom Brady said Tuesday he has no problem with several of his teammates planning to skip a team visit to the White House, even if some of them are doing so as a protest against his friend President Trump.
“There’s certain years, like a couple years ago, I wanted to go and didn’t get the opportunity based on the schedule — we didn’t get told until I think like 10 days before we were going, and at that point, I had something I’d been planning for months and couldn’t get there.”
Since the Patriots won the Super Bowl for the fifth time on Feb. 5, at least five players have indicated they won’t attend the yet-to-be-scheduled celebratory White House visit. Four of them — Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty, Chris Long and LeGarrette Blount — have said it’s because of the man who now occupies that residence.
Brady missed the 2015 appearance, when the Patriots visited then-President Obama after winning Super Bowl XLIX. He has visited the White House four times following championship runs — three with the Patriots during George W. Bush’s presidency and once with the Michigan Wolverines during the Bill Clinton administration.
“It really is a great experience,” Brady said. “Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing. At least, it never was to me. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates.”
But, he added, “it’s an off-season. These days are valuable for everybody. You only get so much time with your family and friends, and if people don’t want to go, they don’t want to go and that’s their choice.”
Brady has acknowledged he’s good friends with Trump but has refused to discuss whether he supports the president politically.