New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced at the last moment on Wednesday that he would not be attending his team's Super Bowl victory celebration at the White House.
Some of Brady's teammates previously announced they would not be joining the team at the White House as an act of protest against President Donald Trump. However, Brady's absence certainly doesn't appear to be a show of solidarity.
The quarterback, whom President Trump has described as a good “friend,” released a statement on Wednesday explaining his decision:
"I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today. Our team has accomplished something very special that we are all proud of and will be for years to come. Thank you to the President for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember.
In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend today's ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters. Hopefully, if we accomplish the goal of winning a championship in future years, we will be back on the South Lawn again soon. Have a great day!"
He didn't offer any more details about his personal family matters.
Brady found himself in the center of the Trump controversy when a “Make America Great Again” hat was found in his locker. Despite pressure throughout the 2016 campaign, Brady never bashed Trump or attempted to distance himself from him. Instead, he mostly dismissed reporters' political questioning and focused on football.