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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.
As does running back LeGarrette Blount.
As does Alan Branch.
As does safety Devin McCourty, who told Time 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.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) February 8, 2017
In all, that’s more than 10 percent of the Patriots roster who say they won’t meet Trump.
Brady was slapped with criticism in 2015 when he declined to go to Barack Obama’s White House to celebrate a Super Bowl victory.
Soon after the Patriots completed their victory, this is what Trump tweeted.
What an amazing comeback and win by the Patriots. Tom Brady, Bob Kraft and Coach B are total winners. Wow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2017
This will be good.
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.