Robert Kraft is aware that several of his players have chosen not to visit the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl LI victory. But the Patriots chairman and CEO told the TODAY show that that really isn't all that unusual.
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"Well, you know what's interesting, this is our, I'm happy to say, fifth Super Bowl in the last 16 years," Kraft said when asked if his relationship with President Donald Trump has in any way strained his relationship with players. "And every time we've had the privilege of going to the White House, a dozen of our players don't go. This is the first time it's gotten any media attention. You know, some of the players have the privilege of going in college because they're on national championship teams, others have family commitments. But this is America. We're all free to do whatever's best for us. We're just privileged to be in a position to be going."
Tom Brady made headlines in 2015 when he skipped the team's visit to Washington, DC followng its Super Bowl XLIX win, therefore missing the meeting with President Barack Obama.
Devin McCourty, Martellus Bennett, Chris Long, Dont'a Hightower, Alan Branch and LeGarrette Blount have said they won't visit the White House when the trip comes around later this year. Bennett, McCourty and Blount have all explained, in one way or another, that they do not feel welcome at a White House occupied by Trump.