Patriots welcomed to White House by Trump

Ross Houston
April 20, 2017

And Branch, who visited the White House in 2014 when President Barack Obama was in office, said he is going to "hang out with the family" instead.

"Thank you to the president for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team as long as I can remember", Brady said.

"It was a complete team effort".

Trump commented on the team's unbelievable comeback in the Super Bowl, stunning the world for pushing the game into overtime and winning the game despite a 25-point deficit in the second half.

New England's win, the president said, was very similar his win in the presidential election.

At least six Patriots players boycotted the White House ceremony. Several players explicitly cited their opposition to Trump as their reason for not attending.

Trump also made no mention of Hernandez, who hanged himself in a prison cell hours before the White House visit, according to MA prison officials. He was serving time in a maximum security prison for a 2015 murder conviction. He was convicted two years ago of first-degree murder following the shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a former friend of Hernandez's.

"I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today".

TRUMP: Now, immediately to me that means he's going to tone it down 'cause what he said was so nice. When the team visited the White House in 2005, 27 players attended, with 36 showing up in 2004.

"Need some help", Gronkowski asked to a chorus of laughter. "I think I looked at odds and they gave you less than one half of 1 percent of winning the game".

Trump has particularly close ties to the Patriots, counting owner Bob Kraft and Belichick as friends.

Bundchen's tweet came as Brady opted out on the visit to Trump's White House.

Trump took the opportunity to criticize television commentators, saying during the Super Bowl, "The pundits - good old pundits - boy, they're wrong a lot, aren't they?" He made that the greatest letter, and I did very well in that state.

Kraft and Belichick presented Trump with a personalized Patriots uniform and a Super Bowl LI helmet. Others include the owners of the Houston Texans, the Washington Redskins, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Rams. Kraft gave the money via his Kraft Group LLC.

Tight End Martellus Bennett told reporters after the Super Bowl: "It is what it is". Some noted their differences with the Republican administration though many others did not an issue a reason for their absence.

"The different things that come out of the White House or the [administration] just didn't agree or align with some of my views", McCourty said at the Boston University's "Play It Forward" summit (h/t ESPN). "I'm a father of three daughters and I have a son as well and like I can't see myself having any type of interest to go meet this person that said such disgusting things".

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