Roughly 12 hours after former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's death in his MA prison cell, the team he once played for was on the South Lawn of the White House celebrating their fifth Super Bowl championship.
While Super Bowl champions have skipped the White House visit in recent years - including Brady, who cited scheduling conflicts in 2015 - all eyes were on the Patriots this year, who are in a particularity notable position because they have been linked to Trump in the past. "That's the beauty of what they do, they win as a team", said Trump, who equated some similarity to the team's stirring 25-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons with his own political victory.
During an April 19 team visit to the White House, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski made his presence known by sneaking into and interrupting White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's daily press briefing (video below).
Brady released a statement saying he was "so happy and excited" that the Patriots are being honored at the White House.
Despite the low turnout, the Patriots have ties with the Trump administration as owner Robert K. Kraft donated $1 million to inauguration festivities.
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A team spokesman said the Patriots were aware of situation, but neither the team or Trump publicly addressed the news surrounding Hernandez. Days ago, the 27-year-old former tight end was acquitted of a double murder.
"Alright, thanks man, I'll see you in a minute", the White House official adds, before telling reporters, "That was cool". Others include the owners of the Houston Texans, the Washington Redskins, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Rams. At least four players didn't attend explicitly because of Trump.
"I don't feel accepted in the White House", McCourty said of his reason for boycotting the event. That includes Brady in 2015.
For the fifth time since 2002, the New England Patriots have a date with the President of the United States.The team is scheduled to meet President Trump at 2:30 p.m. for the traditional championship visit and photo op in the Rose Garden.