Here’s a look at which Patriots players have publicly stated they do not intend to join the team when it makes the traditional visit to the White House to commemorate their Super Bowl LI victory. The visit has not yet been scheduled.
■ Even before the Super Bowl, the tight end indicated he was not inclined to visit the White House if the Patriots won.
“Most likely not, because I don’t support the person in it,” he told the Detroit Free Press at Super Bowl Opening Night.
After the Patriots won, he confirmed it, and said he does not fear backlash for his decision even though the Patriots have several close connections to President Donald J. Trump, who counts team owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady as friends.
■ The safety told Time Magazine he wouldn’t go..
“Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House,” McCourty said. “With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”
■ The linebacker went on trips to the White House while a college player at Alabama, but told ESPN he wasn’t going this time. “Been there, done that,” Hightower said.
■ After being called out by New York Daily News columnist Chuck Modiano, whose “open letter” to Long urged him to follow up on the stance he took when he supported Colin Kaepernick, Long revealed his choice in a Twitter response to Modiano.
“Oh Chuck. Planned on skipping, hadn’t been asked. Don’t need an open letter explaining my own words to me. Not ‘joining’ anyone. My call,” Long tweeted.
■ The running back appeared on The Rich Eisen Show and told him “I don’t feel welcome in that house. I’ll leave it at that.”
■ On a Sirius XM NFL Radio program, the defensive tackle said he would be spending time with his family instead of joining teammates.
“I’ve got four kids at home so I’m just going to hang out with the family and continue celebrating until the next season starts,” Branch said.
Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.