It’s no secret that President Donald Trump is a fan of the New England Patriots, but some players are making it clear that they don’t want to visit Trump at the White House just days after the team won a historic sixth Super Bowl.
Patriots’ safety Duron Harmon confirmed that he would be skipping the trip just hours after the final whistle in Atlanta. “They don’t want me in the White House,” Harmon told a TMZ cameraman as he left the stadium with his family late Sunday.
When the team returned to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts on Monday, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty told the Associated Press that he would not attend a trip to the White House. His brother, Patriots’ cornerback Jason McCourty, made similar comments.
“I haven’t thought about it, but I highly doubt it,” Jason McCourty told the AP. The AP also notes that Jason admitted that there was “virtually zero chance” that he would attend the visit after his brother joked that he was lying.
Both Harmon and Devin McCourty were among the 34 New England Patriots’ players who opted to skip a 2017 trip to the White House after their victory in Super Bowl LI. Jason McCourty was not a member of the team at that time.
While some professional athletes have skipped White House trips in the past, Trump’s frequent public feuds with athletes who criticize him have cast a spotlight on players who choose not to join their teams at the White House.
The Trump administration has outright canceled White House visits for the Golden State Warriors and the Philadelphia Eagles after players spoke out about their intentions to skip the trip. The Washington Capitals, who play their games just down the road from the White House, have not yet settled on a date for a potential visit, but some players have already vocalized their intention to skip a potential meeting with the president.