Patriots players explain why they are not visiting the White House and President Trump

"Basic reason for me is I don't feel accepted in the White House."

Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett (88) and running back LeGarrette Blount (29) talk on the sideline. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Within a week of the Patriots’ stunning comeback win in Super Bowl LI, a growing number of players have let it be known that they will not be part of the team’s eventual White House visit.

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Though it’s customary for the NFL champions to visit the president, several Patriots have gone on record as saying they will skip the trip. Not all have cited overtly political reasons, but questioning such visits is a growing subplot across sports in reaction to the Trump administration.


President Trump has been a vocal supporter of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft, both during his campaign and since taking office. He also singled the three of them out in his congratulations to the team following the 34-28 overtime win in the Super Bowl:


Here’s the list of Patriots who have already said they won’t go the White House, as well as their explanation:

Martellus Bennett

“I haven’t thought about it. I am not going to go,” Bennett told reporters after the Super Bowl. “I can elaborate later on in life; right now I am just trying to enjoy this … People know how I feel about it, just follow me on Twitter.”

LeGarrette Blount

Alan Branch

Dont’a Hightower

Chris Long

Devin McCourty

In a text message to TIME Magazine:

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.