President Trump is a big supporter of the New England Patriots.
What an amazing comeback and win by the Patriots. Tom Brady, Bob Kraft and Coach B are total winners. Wow!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2017
But the feeling doesn’t appear to be mutual for several members of the Super Bowl LI champion team.
Days before the Patriots beat Atlanta for their fifth NFL championship, tight end Martellus Bennett was asked if he’d participate in such a visit. “Most likely no,” he said. “I don’t support the guy that’s in the house.”
After the game, Bennett indicated he’d made up his mind about the matter. “I’m not going to go,” he said. “It is what it is. People know how I feel about it. Just follow me on Twitter.”
Defensive back Devin McCourty told Time in a text message on Monday: “I’m not going to the White House. 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.”
Running back James White told Sirius XM on Tuesday that he still hadn’t made up his mind on the matter. “I’ll wait ’til the time comes and decide then,” White said.
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower said Wednesday that he would not go, but apparently his decision had little to do with Trump.
"Been there, done that," Dont'a Hightower said, also noting he didn't go to White House in 2014 w/ Pats. Had previously been with Alabama.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) February 8, 2017
In response to an open letter from Chuck Modiano of the New York Daily News, defensive end Chris Long tweeted Thursday that he’s opting out of the trip.
Also on Thursday running back LeGarrette Blount told the “Rich Eisen Show”: “I will not be going to the White House. I don’t feel welcome in that house. I’ll leave it at that.”