Before joining President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden, Gronkowski entered into the White House press briefing to see if Spicer needed any help fielding questions from thie media. It was very close to before the election and I called him up and I said, 'Coach, do you mind if I read the letter tonight to a stadium full of people in a very, very big and important state?' He said, 'You know what?
Devin McCourty, Alan Branch, Chris Long, Martellus Bennett and LeGarrette Blount all have been outspoken about the fact that they did not feel as though it was appropriate for them to take part in the festivities because of the man occupying the nation's highest office.
And many agreed Gronk's moment in the spotlight just wasn't long enough.
He got his start playing for the Patriots back in 2010, drafted alongside fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez. They are the Hernandez death of apparent suicide and the Patriots' visit to the White House.
Trump, who rode to office past year in a surprise election win over Hillary Clinton, linked himself to the Patriots as a perceived underdog.
"What a group of champions, all of them, and I want to commend [Robert Kraft] on building an incredible group of champions", said Trump, referring to Kraft as simply "Bob". The White House said it was notified that Brady was dealing with a personal family matter and will not attend the ceremony.
The team's White House visit caps a dramatic Super Bowl victory. Days ago, the 27-year-old former tight end was acquitted of a double murder. President Trump praised the team for their dramatic come-from-behind win which both the president and Patriots owner Robert Kraft compared to Trump's own victory last November. Some noted their differences with the Republican administration, though others did not an issue a reason for their absence.
Blount-who is now an unsigned free agent-and McCourty both previously said in interviews they wouldn't take part in the festivities because they didn't feel welcome at the White House.
Thornton returns to lineup for Sharks in Game 3 vs. Oilers
Patrick Marleau's goal came after Pavelski was stopped in the slot, again on a Sharks power play, upping the lead to 3-0 at 2:02. Couture struggled the first two games as he's recovered after losing several teeth when he took a puck to the face last month.
Orbital ATK blasts off from NASA launch pad
The Cygnus is also carrying 38 small satellites known as CubeSats, many of which have been built by college students. Beginning in 2019, Orbital ATK will conduct a minimum of six initial cargo missions under NASA's CRS-2 contract.
Venezuela opposition calls new protest today
Maduro, meanwhile, has ordered the Venezuelan armed forces onto the streets to maintain order. The opposition attributed the two student deaths to groups known as " colectivos ".