New England Patriots Refuse to Attend the White House Event in Greater Numbers Than Expected
April 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
From a Reader:
On Wednesday, only 34 New England Patriots showed up at the White House where Donald Trump hosted the team that won the Super Bowl. Several of the players had been saying for weeks that they would not attend the gathering, but this low turnout included more not attending than expected. The team includes 53 roster players and 18 coaches.
In early February, right after the Patriots won the Super Bowl, six players—Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty, LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch, Dont’a Hightower, and Chris Long—all stated their intention to not go. When asked for reasons for not attending, some of the players would not give a reason. But McCourty told Time magazine, “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.” Blount echoed McCourty when he told Rich Eisen on sports talk radio, “I will NOT be going to the White House. I don’t feel welcome in that house. I’ll leave it at that.”
During the season, McCourty and Bennett raised their clenched fists during the national anthem, at a time when other players around the National Football League were refusing to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality and police murders. (See “Cheers to Colin Kaepernick—For Not Standing for National Anthem”) At that time, Bennett said, “We want everybody to be treated fairly and just and for everyone to be tolerant for everything that’s going on.”
The New York Times reported that “Bennett told reporters after the Super Bowl: ‘It is what it is. People know how I feel about it. Just follow me on Twitter.’ The outspoken Bennett had joked that he might move to outer space after Donald J. Trump was elected.”
The Boston Globe reported that Alan Branch had told them that “he was skipping the event because he was disturbed by Trump’s sexist comments captured in an ‘Access Hollywood’ video.”
Even the Super Bowl MVP quarterback Tom Brady did not show up at the White House event, saying he had family matters to attend to. Trump previously claimed that Brady supported him. Brady has been telling the press that his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, has told him to keep quiet about politics. Around the time the Patriots showed up at the White House, Bündchen tweeted, “On April 29th in Washington- D.C.—March for climate, jobs, and justice. To change everything, we need everyone. http://ow.ly/bTqD30aZmTm — Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) April 19, 2017”
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