New England Patriots star Devin McCourty became the second Super Bowl champion to declare that he will not be joining his team for a trip to meet President Donald Trump at the White House, on Monday, February 6.
Leading up to Sunday’s big game in Houston it had been anticipated that Martellus Bennett would boycott the tradition, with he and his Seattle Seahawks star brother, Michael, being two of the more politically vocal voices in the NFL. Bennett had hinted that he wouldn’t be attending during Super Bowl opening night festivities last week, and reconfirmed his position following the Patriots’ historic comeback win, stating, “It is what it is, people know how I feel about it.”
In a text message sent to Time magazine, McCourty followed suit with his tight end teammate, writing, “I’m not going to the White House … Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”
It remains to be seen how Bennett and McCourty’s refusal to head to the nation’s capital might impact their standing on the team, as Patriots owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, and QB Tom Brady are all avid supporters of the President. Should any kind of repercussions be levied against them, the team may face a backlash from Black players around the league, considering the team brought itself to meet President Obama without its team captain in 2015, when Brady omitted himself from the White House visit.