In the immediate aftermath of the Patriots spectacular Super Bowl comeback victory against the Falcons, New England tight end Martellus Bennett immediately said he wouldn’t be taking the customary congratulatory trip to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump.
In the days following, Bennett has been joined by at least five other Patriots teammates who say they won’t visit a president who they feel has turned the White House into a place where they don’t feel welcome. Which is interesting since quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick, and owner Bob Kraft are publicly friendly with Trump.
But Bennett said he didn’t care what the team’s management thought of his decision. And he’s apparently not alone.
Defensive end Chris Long agrees.
Oh Chuck. Planned on skipping, hadn’t been asked. Don’t need an open letter explaining my own words to me. Not *joining* anyone. My call. https://t.co/XWo9x2XT40
As does safety Devin McCourty, who toldTime magazine, “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t… I can’t imagine a way I go there.”
Dont’a Hightower also won’t be heading to the White House, though it appears less of a Trump protest and more of an “I just don’t want to be bothered with this bullshit” tact.
“Been there, done that,” Dont’a Hightower said, also noting he didn’t go to White House in 2014 w/ Pats. Had previously been with Alabama.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.