There's some irony in the fact that the professional sports team most closely associated with Donald Trump is now the one that seems like it wants nothing to do with him, right? Because by the time the Patriots actually visit the White House after winning the Super Bowl only three people might be going.
Those three, of course, would be important figures: Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft. That troika, more or less on their own, has turned the Patriots into Trump's team. It's part of the reason why so many people were rooting for the Falcons last Sunday. But New England won the game, which means they get to be honored with a visit to the President's house in Washington, D.C.
Who's going to go, though? Chris Long and LeGarrette Blount were the most recent Patriots players to opt out. They went public with their decisions Thursday, which raised the number of non-attending Patriots to five. Blount was especially forceful.
"I will NOT be going to the White House," he said on the Rich Eisen Show. "I don't feel welcome in that house. I'll leave it at that."
Long was a little more reserved. His explanation, in response to an open letter from Chuck Modiano from the New York Daily News: Nah, I'm good. Thanks, though.
That makes five Patriots who aren't going. Martellus Bennett kept true to his word earlier this week, and Devin McCourty and Dont'a Hightower followed his lead. There are 53 players on an NFL roster and nine percent of New England's is currently passing on being honored in the nation's capital. The Cubs rushed in to see Barack Obama just before he left office. It's looking like the Patriots want to avoid the White House at all costs.