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21 April 2017, 02:47 | Charlene Valdez
It's the players who are missing, and the reason they stayed home.
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". Hopefully, if we accomplish the goal of winning a championship in future years, we will be back on the South Lawn again soon.
The president congratulated the Patriots on their stunning 25-point comeback in February's championship game to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime for the franchise's fifth Super Bowl victory.
Casting a pall over the ceremony was the news about Hernandez, who hanged himself in a prison cell hours before the White House visit, according to MA prison officials.
At least six Patriots players boycotted the White House ceremony.
A team spokesman said the Patriots were aware of situation, but neither the team or Trump publicly addressed the news surrounding Hernandez. In fact, a quick scan of photos through the years suggests that the high attendance at the Obama White House in 2015 was an anomaly-which nonetheless can't be welcome news for Trump.
Despite the low turnout, the Patriots have ties with the Trump administration as owner Robert K. Kraft donated $1 million to inauguration festivities. That's so sweet! Well, Belichick and Kraft tried to top that by presenting Trump with the traditional gift of his very own number 45 Patriots jersey. Others include the owners of the Houston Texans, the Washington Redskins, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Rams.
Former Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett, now with the Green Bay Packers, and cornerback Devin McCourty have previously announced they would skip the White House visit due to political reasons. 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? That includes Brady in 2015.
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