Patriots players say they won't visit the White House in the wake of Super Bowl victory
For more than 150 years, the White House has welcomed sports teams onto its grounds following their victories in major competitive tournaments - the Super Bowl being one of the most famous. Almost immediately after winning this year's game, however, several players with the New England Patriots made it clear that they had absolutely no intention of visiting the White House while the Trump administration was occupying it.
Duron Harmon, Devin McCourty, and Jason McCourty have all expressed apprehension about accepting an invitation to meet Donald Trump, and have said they'd rather sit it out.
"They don't want me in the White House," Harmon told TMZ, referencing the fact that he, as a black man, has felt discriminated against by the Trump administration. Instead, he said it would be "dope" to visit former president, Barack Obama.
"Hey Obama, come holla at me, man," he joked.
Likewise, when asked by the Associated Press whether he would go, Jason McCourty said, "I haven't thought about it, but I highly doubt it." His brother, Devin, meanwhile, said there was no chance he would be attending.
Judging by past attendance by Super Bowl teams at the Trump-occupied White House, though, there's a chance that none of the Patriots will end up taking a trip to DC.
Two years ago, when the Pats last won the Super Bowl, a number of players decided not to attend out of protest for the president's controversial policies. Even Tom Brady, who's previously spoke about being friends with Trump, did not attend after his wife made it clear that she disagreed with his way of government.
Last year, too, The Philadelphia Eagles were actually uninvited from meeting the president after it transpired that the majority of them were not planning on going along.
If the visit is cancelled again, it won't be the best track record for Trump, who also made headlines last month when the Clemson Tigers were served up fast food at the White House.
The Tigers, who won the College Football Playoff National Championships (and therefore the honour of visiting 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) found themselves greeted by nuggets and burgers in January after Trump took it upon himself to cater for them during the government shutdown. Only 15 of the team's 57 Black players showed up, and a number of white players also decided to forgo the visit in solidarity.
Back in 2017, the president caused outrage when he targeted black NFL players for their peaceful protests against institutionalised racism. "Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’" he said at a rally.
Whether or not the Patriots do go to the White House remains to be seen, but, if they do, you can count on some players to stand their ground and stay at home.