Tom Brady has stated that his teammates can make their own choices on whether to visit the White House to celebrate the Patriots' winning of the Super Bowl.
Fox Business reports that after winning Super Bowl LI, the Patriots are due to visit the White House and meet with President Donald Trump. Brady has been a longstanding supporter of Trump, and even sported a "Make America Great Again" cap in his locker. However, many of his teammates have been critical of Trump, and some have refused to visit the White House for political reasons.
“Everybody has their own choice,” Brady said. “There’s certain years, like a couple years ago, I wanted to go and didn’t get the opportunity based on the schedule — we didn’t get told until I think like 10 days before we were going, and at that point I had something I’d been planning for months and couldn’t get there.”
Brady was referring to a missed visit with former President President Barack Obama in 2015, which Brady claims was for family reasons.
According to The Huffington Post, Brady insists that politics don’t play a part in his decision making
It really is a great experience. ...Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing. At least, it never was to me. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates. Everyone has their own choice. It’s an offseason. These days are valuable for everybody. You only get so much time with your family and friends, and if people don’t want to go they don’t want to go and that’s their choice.
Six current Patriots players -- LaGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett, Chris Long, Alan Branch, Devin McCourty and Dont'a Hightower -- have said they will opt not to visit the White House this year. Some have claimed personal reasons, while others have outright stated that they disapprove of the Trump administration’s policies.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft isn’t thinking much of the holdouts. “The facts are, we’ve had the privilege of going to the White House five times in the last 16 years,” Kraft said. “Every time that we go to the White House, there’s about a dozen players who don’t go. This is the first time there’s been any publicity, so you might ask, why is that? And is there an issue that’s trying to be drummed up?"