This past Sunday the New England Patriots went home as Super Bowl LIII Champions. But at least three members of the team have said that they will not go to the White House if invited to celebrate their win.
In separate interviews, Duron Harmon, and twin brothers Jason and Devin McCourty all said that they would decline a visit. However, neither player mentioned why.
In an interview after Sunday night’s game, Harmon told TMZ, “They don’t want me in the White House.” Yet, when the interviewer asked Harmon if he would try to see former President Barack Obama instead, Harmon suggested that he would.
Meanwhile, the twin McCourty brothers told The Associated Press, that they too would probably skip a trip to Washington.
Traditionally, Presidents invite championship-winning teams to the White House to celebrate their victories. However, Trump has a history of withdrawing his invite after athletes have publicly said they would not attend.
Last year, Trump withdrew invites from both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Golden State Warriors after their championship wins. However, both teams declined 45’s invite before he officially disinvited them.
Players have declined White House visits in the past but, since 2015 they’ve revolved around the stance on former NFL player, Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick famously began kneeling during the national anthem at games in 2016 in protest of police brutality towards African-Americans.
However, the Patriots have a unique relationship with Donald Trump.
The team’s owner, Robert K. Kraft is a longtime supporter and friend of Trump. Bill Belichick, the team’s coach, is also a supporter of Trump. And as we all know, Trump and the team’s QB, Tom Brady have an ambiguous relationship.
As for now, there is no confirmed answer as to how many players will visit the oval office if invited. We will continue to keep you updated as players announce their decisions.