On Wednesday, the New England Patriots visited the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win, posing for a photo with President Donald Trump. But this isn't new; every year, the winner of the NFL championship visits the sitting president.
Despite the tradition and the solemnity involved in the ceremony, one player who has always been vocal about his support for Trump was not in attendance: Tom Brady.
At the last minute, Brady said he wasn't going, citing “personal family matters.” And while the star quarterback was also unable to make an appearance in 2015, he did attend the three previous visits.
Tom Brady is not attending White House ceremony today due to "personal family matters." His statement: pic.twitter.com/OIidVZX3VV— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 19, 2017
Never mentioning Brady, the president did call other players who weren't present by name, such as wide receiver Danny Amendola. He also used the opportunity to call the team's victorious game “the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time.”
Trump shouts out Danny Amendola, who wasn't at White House, and says, "Where's Danny?" Edelman doesn't help POTUS. pic.twitter.com/skkQDXMlMx— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) April 19, 2017
On Twitter, Amendola thanked Trump for the “shout out,” adding that he was attending a funeral. But perhaps due to the negative responses he got after shooting the warm message to the president, the tweet has since been deleted.
Here are some of the responses he received before deleting the tweet:
Six other players had announced they wouldn't be at the White House Wednesday, citing political reasons for choosing not to attend.
Defensive back Devin McCourty said he didn't “feel accepted in the White House,” while Alan Branch, the Patriots' defensive tackle, stated he “wouldn’t want to spend time away from ... family to shake the hand of a guy I wouldn’t want to meet with or talk to.”
Speculation about why Brady didn't show up was fueled by news outlets and social media users after his wife, model Gisele Bündchen, took to Twitter on Wednesday to urge her millions of followers to take part in the Peoples Climate Movement protest in Washington, D.C., which will take place on April 29.
In the since-deleted tweet, the Brazilian supermodel said that “to change everything, we need everyone.”
Brady, who had a Make America Great Again hat in his locker for most of the 2016 season, said he was “attending to some personal family matters” that same day, adding that he hoped his team would win next year so he could be “back on the South Lawn again.”
But regardless of what truly made Brady change his mind about his White House appearance, it's interesting to see so many star players being vocal about their anti-Trump stance and not hold back when asked why.