Wednesday, 26 April, 2017

Trump opts not to mention Brady during Patriots ceremony at White House

Tom Brady opts out of White House event “in light of some recent developments” TrumPutin Won't Like This: Tom Brady Skipping White House Visit
Christy Curtis | 20 April, 2017, 07:29

Trump's welcome to the team was coming hours after the news from MA prisons officials that ex-Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell.

Among those Patriots stars in attendance was Rob Gronkowski, who provided a light-hearted moment when he crashed press secretary Sean Spicer's briefing.

"I think I got this, but thank you", Spicer replied with a smile. "I had won the primaries, and I'm now in this rather heated election that a few of you have read about".

Kraft was one of at least seven National Football League team owners who gave $1 million each to Trump's inaugural committee, a new fundraising report shows. The projected range of attendees was thought to be somewhere between 27 (the number of players that showed up for the Patriots visit to the White House in 2005) and 36 (the number that showed up to the White House visit in 2004). In total, 34 players attended the White House trip, with 34 others skipping the event.

"It's distinct honor for us to celebrate what was unequivocally our sweetest championship with a very good friend and someone's who's mental toughness and strength I greatly admire", Kraft said.

Trump did not refer to Tom Brady, who skipped Wednesday's ceremony to be with his ailing mother.

At least seven players elected against attending the event, citing political and social causes as the reason they did not join teammates in the customary celebration. That includes Brady in 2015. However players Devin McCourty, Martellus Bennett, Chris Long, Dont'a Hightower and LeGarrette Blount all chose to skip the South Lawn visit for political differences.

During the ceremony on the South Lawn, Trump praised the Patriots for their Super Bowl-record 25-point second-half comeback to beat the Atlanta Falcons.

Several players, including tight end Martellus Bennet, safety Devin McCourty, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive tackle Alan Branch, and defensive end Chris Long, all said they didn't feel comfortable visiting the White House because of Trump's polarizing policies, which is why they chose to skip the visit.

Trump, who rode to office previous year in a surprise election win over Hillary Clinton, linked himself to the Patriots as a perceived underdog.

Kraft made brief remarks and saluted Trump.

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