Martellus Bennett,Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, Devin McCourty, Alan Branch, and Dont'a Hightower are the six New England Patriots (so far) who say they'll sidestep meeting with President Donald Trump as he celebrates the Patriots' Super Bowl LI at the White House. The Patriots won the NFL Championship with a 53-man roster, meaning that six players choosing to skip the White House ceremony represent 11.3% of the team.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft has spoken at length about his friendship with Donald Trump. But that and the generous paychecks Kraft writes aren't enough to make the trip worthwhile for the above-named Patriots. While the individual Patriots have expressed their reasons differently, McCourty, a defensive back, puts the basic idea across with this explanation: "Basic reason for me is I don't feel accepted in the White House. With the President having so many strong opinions and prejudices, I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won't." (McCourty sent that message to Time magazine.) Besides being a stellar tight end and children's book scribe, Martellus Bennett is a full-time justice warrior who doesn't even offer a specific reason for blowing off Trump's White House. A look at his Twitter account makes pretty clear that he'd probably never consider going. Bennett cites Muhammad Ali as his hero and role model.
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Surprised the president dude didn't ban celebrating Chinese New Year in America!!
— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) January 29, 2017