They were meant to be big time friends, but even Tom Brady is now skipping the New England Patriots’ visit to the White House.
The Patriots are heading to Washington D.C. to be honored by President Trump on Wednesday following their historic 25 point comeback over the Falcons to win Super Bowl 51 back in February.
However at least six players have indicated they will be absent from the honouring ceremony due to Trump’s controversial time in office.
Now star quarterback Brady, who along with team coach Bill Belichick is known to be a close friend of POTUS, has pulled out last minute claiming personal reasons for why he won’t be at the ceremony with his teammates.
He said in a statement: “I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today.
“Our team has accomplished something very special that we are all proud of and will be for years to come.
He continued: “In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend today’s ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters. Hopefully, if we accomplish the goal of winning a championship in the future years, we will back on the South Lawn again soon. Have a great day!”
Brady, 39, was central to the jaw-dropping overtime comeback over the Falcons that saw his team defy the odds to storm to victory and earned him a fifth Super Bowl championship.
His absence does avoid any awkward questions about his support for the President.
During the election campaign, Donald Trump claimed both Brady and Bill Belichick were friends of his and had said they were voting for him though Tom never publicly confirmed the claims.
Other Patriots who have confirmed they won’t be attending Wednesday’s ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House are LeGarrette Blount, Chris Long, Alan Branch, Dont’a Hightower, Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty.
Tight end Bennett was one of the first to indicate he would decline his invitation from Trump and told reporters shortly after the Super Bowl: “It is what it is. People know how I feel about it. Just follow me on Twitter.”
Team captain McCourty made his feelings clear in a recent interview with Time Magazine, stating: “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.”