There is a tradition in the sports world that the champions of this country’s major sports leagues such as the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL receive an invitation from the President to visit the White House and take a tour. These visits are typically surrounded by much fanfare and publicity as the athletes get to visit the President and usually present the President with a gift; however, some of the members of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl-winning team may be turning down the offer.
In fact, the number of Patriots turning down the offer is now up to six. For perspective, NFL teams are allowed to carry a roster of up to 52 players. One of the players Pro Bowl safety Devin McCourty told a magazine that he simply didn’t feel like he would be accepted at the White House, referencing his belief that the President carries certain prejudices. New England Patriot’s tight end Martellus Bennett is known for being outspoken and only said that he believes most people know why he isn’t going. Another player named James White (who scored the winning touchdown) said he hasn’t yet decided whether or not he will go.
An event that is supposed to be marketed as a celebration has now become an area of controversy. It remains to be seen whether or not more members of the New England Patriots will decline an offer to visit the White House. A date for a visit has not yet been set.