"When you win two [Super Bowls] in three years, fewer people go than one in 10 years", he said, noting that player turnout for the White House ceremonies between 2002 and 2005 decreased steadily. Tight end Martellus Bennett and defensive end Chris Long, who have since signed elsewhere as free agents, indicated that they wouldn't make the trip because they were not fans of Trump.
While in Washington, D.C., for the Patriots Super Bowl visit, tight end Rob Gronkowski stuck his head into the daily press briefing, led by Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
He interrupted Spicer's briefing by asking if he needed any help.
That led to laughter from the press corps.
Those sitting in the room laugh, as Spicer banters with the playful sports star.
President Donald Trump honored the New England Patriots at the White House Wednesday for its historic Super Bowl win - the same day former player Aaron Hernandez was found dead inside his MA prison cell.
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Trump has repeatedly spoken and tweeted his fandom of the Patriots and his friendship with quarterback Tom Brady and owner Robert Kraft.
NFL Network's Kimberly Jones reported that 34 Patriots players were part of the party that traveled to the White House, but she said that wasn't unusual for the team.
The team's White House visit capped a dramatic Super Bowl victory. He also thanked President Donald Trump for hosting the celebration "and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember".
Tom Brady is not going to the White House. GRONK: (inaudible grumbling) SPICER: Alright, thanks man.
The reality is is that real-life "family matters" as his reason for not being able to attend. Six others had already signaled that they would take a pass, some for political reasons.
While seven Patriots announced ahead of time that they would not visit, almost half the team didn't make the trip to D.C.