Patriots have 34 players present for Trump White House visit

Several players, including tight end Martellus Bennet, safety Devin McCourty, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive tackle Alan Branch, and defensive end Chris Long, all said they didn't feel comfortable visiting the White House because of Trump's polarizing policies, which is why they chose to skip the visit.

The players cited Trump's comments against women and exclusionary remarks as reasons for sitting out of the meeting.

"Need some help", Gronkowski asked to a chorus of laughter. The champion quarterback decided not to attend the ceremony, citing family matters for his absence. The number of players not attending because of the president, and vocally doing so, is unprecedented.

According to the Boston Globe, 34 players in total opted out of the visit, and the result is a sad looking picture, especially compared to the five-time champions' last trip to the White House in 2015.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick spoke after Trump, with each of them heaping praise on the president.

Kraft said he was delighted to be honored by Trump for a remarkable comeback victory that he said echoed the president's own longshot campaign "against 16 career politicians facing odds nearly as long as we faced in the fourth quarter". Trump frequently describes Brady as a friend.

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"As a kid, you read about history, read about the White House, to actually go in and experience firsthand is something I hope everyone gets the opportunity to do", Mitchell said. At the time, some speculated that Brady was angry at the White House for razzing him over Deflategate. Wide receiver Danny Amendola also skipped the visit, thanking Trump "for the shout out" and saying he had a funeral to attend.

Tom Brady His statement came after word of former teammate Aaron Hernandez's suicide, but Brady did not mention him.

And Branch, who visited the White House in 2014 when President Barack Obama was in office, said he is going to "hang out with the family" instead.

Defensive back Devin McCourty said he wouldn't attend because he doesn't feel welcome at the White House.

Under Donald Trump's presidency, they are about to be the first championship team to make a visit at 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".

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