Politics

Patriots' Gronkowski Interrupts White House Briefing (Video)

| by Lauren Briggs

During an April 19 team visit to the White House, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski made his presence known by sneaking into and interrupting White House press secretary Sean Spicer's daily press briefing (video below).

In the video, Spicer is in the middle of fielding questions from the media when Gronkowski, affectionately called "Gronk" by New England fans, emerges suddenly from behind the stage, much to the surprise of the press secretary.

"Need some help?" asks the playful Patriot, who was in the Capital with his team to celebrate their Feb. 5 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

The media representatives in attendance break into laughter, as the blushing Spicer tries to maintain a professional demeanor.

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"I think I got this, but thank you," replies the press secretary, a Rhode Island native and reported fan of the New England football team.

Gronk then asks, "You sure?"

"Maybe," Spicer responds after a moment. "Alright, thanks man. I'll see you in a minute," he adds, before turning back to reporters with a smile. "That was cool. … How do you follow that?"

New England's visit to the White House fell strangely on the same day that Gronkowski's former teammate and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez was found hanged to death in his Massachusetts prison cell, after what investigators have so far ruled a suicide.

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During the ceremony, President Donald Trump praised the Patriots organization, saying that "No team has been this good for this long," and went on to compare the team's first "post-Deflategate" Super Bowl championship to his own victory in the 2016 presidential election victory, according to The New York Times.

"With your backs against the wall, and the pundits -- good old pundits, boy, they're wrong a lot, aren't they? Saying you couldn't do it, the game was over -- you pulled off the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time," Trump continued, according to The Times.

He also thanked Coach Bill Belichick for sending him a letter of support before the election.

"Whether you're trying to win a Super Bowl or rebuild our country, as Coach Belichick would say, 'There are no days off,'" Trump added.

A number of teammates did not attend the event, including quarterback and Super Bowl LI MVP Tom Brady, who has said in the past that he and the president are friends.

"I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today," Brady said in a statement released by ESPN's Mike Reiss. " … Thank you to the President for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember. In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend today's ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters."

Other players, including tight end Martellus Bennett, safety Devin McCourty, defensive tackle Alan Branch and running back LeGarrette Blount, had prior to the event each announced publicly that they would forego the ceremony, as well, because of their personal political beliefs.

Sources: The New York Times, CNN via YouTube, Mike Reiss/Twitter / Photo Credit: WEBN-TV/Flickr

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