While Tom Brady is getting the majority of the media's attention, his teammates LeGarrette Blount (running back) and Chris Long (defensive end) are making their own headlines by refusing to visit the White House in protest of the Trump administration. It is customary for the winning Super Bowl team to visit the White House after their victory but Blount and Long join three other Patriots in their conviction to give Trump the cold shoulder.
Earlier this week, Martellus Bennett, Dont'a Hightower and Devin McCourty also said that they would not be attending the White House victory celebration.
When the New York Daily News ran an op-ed by Chuck Modiano titled "Stand up to Trump with your Patriots teammates: An open letter to Chris Long," Long responded on Twitter with irritation.
"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."
The current tally of Patriots who are bailing is five. It is likely that more teammates will drop out.
"I just don't feel welcome into that house," Blount said during an interview on The Rich Eisen Show. "I'm just gonna leave it at that."
Bennet and McCourty have both also stated that they are choosing to bail on the White House due to personal distaste for Trump. Hightower, however, says his decision is apolitical. He skipped the White House visit in 2015, when Obama was in office. He said of his decision to skip again, "been there, done that."
Long has not made explicit statements regarding whether or not his decision not to attend is politically motivated.
Back in 2015, Hightower wasn't the only Patriot who was absent at the White House reception. Tom Brady was also not there. He said that he had a family commitment that prevented him from attending. But according to the Boston Herald, Brady was disgruntled over a joke the press secretary Josh Earnest made about him over Deflategate.
James White told Alex Marvez during a Wednesday radio interview that he is planning to "wait till the time comes and decide then."
It's a testament to how divisive the Trump administration is that celebrities are refusing to be associated with the president. It remains to be seen how many other Patriots will decide to join the minority of their teammates who are making waves. The move is already being met with praise and condemnation.