A second member of the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots has decided he will skip the traditional White House visit Super Bowl champions — and champions of every major American professional sports league — make.
Defensive back Devin McCourty announced that will not go on the team trip, joining tight end Martellus Bennett in protest of President Donald Trump.
“I’m not going to the White House. 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,” McCourty wrote in a text message to Time magazine.
While some might believe such a decision is petty, many on Twitter were quick to point out that Patriots quarterback and five-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady set the precedent by skipping the team’s 2015 trip to the White House when it received congratulations from President Barack Obama.
At the time, Brady stated a “family commitment” would prevent him from attending.
However, on the day his teammates were being honored by President Obama, ESPN reported that Brady was seen at Gillette Stadium “for a stretch of time.” And then less than 24 hours after the Patriots’ visit, Brady was photographed shopping for watches in New York City.
Brady, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft have all been linked as Trump supporters. Brady took flak prior to the election when a red “Make America Great Again” hat was spotted in his locker. Trump made multiple reference to Brady and Belichick as being supporters during the campaign.
This latest stance taken by Bennett and McCourty is consistent with their actions throughout the football season. Both have been vocal in their protests against what McCourty has called “social injustices.” They both raised their fists following the national anthem during a game on Sept. 11.
Bennett told reporters immediately after the Super Bowl that he would not go to the White House.
“I haven’t thought about it. I am not going to go,” Bennett said after the game. “I can elaborate later on in life; right now I am just trying to enjoy this […] People know how I feel about it, just follow me on Twitter.”