Tight end Martellus Bennett said on Sunday he would decline the president’s customary invitation for the Super Bowl winners, and McCourty followed suit by saying: “I can’t imagine a way I go there.”
McCourty, a two-time Pro Bowler, told Time: “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.”
Earlier in the season, before a game against the Cardinals, McCourty and Bennett raised their right fists during the national anthem in support of the protest started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Bennett said that “America was built on inclusiveness not exclusiveness” and said he wouldn’t be attending any event with Donald Trump.
Trump was rooting for the Patriots on Sunday night and tweeted his congratulations to the team after their 34-28 win – but the president seemed upset when the Falcons were dominating. He left his own Super Bowl party when the Patriots were down 28-3.
Trump has repeatedly expressed his admiration for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and for Pats owner Robert Kraft. When the Patriots went to meet President Obama at the White House in 2015, after winning Super Bowl XLIX, Brady wasn’t there.
The team said he had a prior family commitment. Brady has spoken in the past about his friendship with Trump but has sidestepped questions about his relationship with the president since his inauguration.
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