Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots visit White House, without Tom Brady, others

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WASHINGTON — Members of the New England Patriots visited the White House Wednesday to celebrate their Super Bowl win with President Trump. 34 members of the team were spotted there.

Trump says “no team has been good this long.”

The Patriots rallied from 25 points down to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in February. It was the team’s fifth Super Bowl title since February 2002.

Trump has repeatedly spoken and tweeted his fandom of the Patriots and his friendship with quarterback Tom Brady and owner Robert Kraft.

Several members of the team said they will not attend the ceremony because of President Trump. Chris Long, Alan Branch, Legarrette Blount, Martellus Bennet, Dont’a Hightower and Devin McCourty said they aren’t making the trip to Washington, D.C.

Quarterback Tom Brady did not accompany his team on their visit due to “personal family matters,” according to ESPN reporter Mike Reiss.

Reiss published a statement, attributed to Brady, which said: “In light of some recent developments I am unable to attend today’s ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters.”

Two years ago when the team met with then-President Barack Obama at the White House to celebrate the Super Bowl 49 win, Tom Brady didn’t attend.

Reiss points out that Brady’s mother attended only one game this season, the Super Bowl, due to an ongoing illness. She is currently in Boston, he said.

The New England Patriots learned of former tight end Aaron Hernandez’s suicide as they prepared to go to the White House to celebrate their fifth Super Bowl title.

Guards found the 27-year-old Hernandez hanging from a bedsheet in his cell Wednesday morning at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, where he was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction.

“We are aware of the reports but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today,” said Patriots spokesman Stacey James.