In a time-honored tradition each year, the winners of the Superbowl get to visit the White House and meet with the President. This year, The New England Patriots got to meet President Trump, but there were a few noticeable differences since their last trip to D.C. to meet with then-President Obama in 2015.
In a tweet posted to their official Twitter account this Wednesday, NYT Sports shared two images, one from 2015 and the other from 2017, showing what looked to be a marked decrease in attendance from Patriots players who showed up to visit with Trump.
As we all know, Trump doesn’t like these comparative photos:
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 19, 2017
According to the New York Times, there are currently 64 players on the Patriots’ roster, but only 34 showed up to the White House in Wednesday.
Addressing what looked to be a drop in attendance, the team put out a statement suggesting that the photos don’t tell the whole story.
“These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn,” read a tweet from the Patriots’ Twitter account.
These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn. https://t.co/iIYtV0hR6Y
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 20, 2017
From The Boston Globe:
Coincidentally, 34 players opted to skip the trip. In addition to Brady, other notable absences were Devin McCourty, Martellus Bennett, Alan Branch, Dont’a Hightower, Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, Patrick Chung, Dion Lewis, James White, Duron Harmon, and Logan Ryan.
Some of the players, including McCourty, Bennett, and Long, indicated they wouldn’t come because of political differences with Trump. Others simply had scheduling conflicts. Ryan, for instance, is in the process of moving to Tennessee, having signed with the Titans.
Best comment so far: “Everyone knows there are no patriots left in Washington.”
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