Although the New England Patriots are set to be honored with a White House celebration after Sunday’s comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, one player has said he won’t be attending.
Tight end Martellus Bennett told reporters after the game that he won’t bother.
"I haven't thought about it. I am not going to go. I can elaborate later on in life; right now I am just trying to enjoy this... People know how I feel about it — just follow me on Twitter," Bennett said.
Bennett, who's been vocal on social media about his dislike of President Donald Trump, had previously been asked if he would go to Washington before the win and said he “most likely wouldn’t." It appears he is sticking to that statement.
The player said he’s “not too worried” about his decision to skip the trip, although some speculated it could upset teammates and staff, specifically team owner Robert Kraft, who’s a Trump supporter and friend.
Over the past couple of months, Bennett has shared his views about the president on social media.
So Kanye didn't take the time to vote. And now he holding on to Trump's coattail like Peter Pettigrew to Lord Voldemort. Kanye Pettigrew — Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) December 15, 2016
Surprised the president dude didn't ban celebrating Chinese New Year in America!! — Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) January 29, 2017
This isn't the first time a player has turned down a White House trip. Last year, Tom Brady was absent from the trip after the Patriots' dramatic win against the Seahawks in the 2015 Super Bowl.
Although his reason was reportedly a "family obligation," many believed it was due to a comment by then-White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest regarding the "Deflategate" scandal.
"For years it's been clear that there is no risk that I was going to take Tom Brady's job as quarterback of the New England Patriots," Earnest said at the time. "But I can tell you, as of today, it's pretty clear that there's no risk of him taking my job either."