Tom Brady said his New England Patriots teammates are entitled to skip their trip to the White House, but added that they’d be missing a “great experience.”
In 2015, Brady turned down a chance to visit the White House under the Barack Obama administration. On Tuesday, he told NBC Sports Radio his absence had nothing to do with politics.
“Everybody has their own choice,” he said. “There’s certain years, like a couple years ago, I wanted to go and didn’t get the opportunity based on the schedule — we didn’t get told until I think like 10 days before we were going, and at that point I had something I’d been planning for months and couldn’t get there.”
Six Patriots players have said publically they would not make the trip after the team defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
The victory made them the first major U.S. professional sports team to win a championship since Donald Trump took office. Running back LeGarrette Blount said he didn’t “feel welcome” at the White House.
Brady offered another view.
“It really is a great experience,” he said. “Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing. At least, it never was to me. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates.
“Everyone has their own choice,” he continued. “It’s an offseason. These days are valuable for everybody. You only get so much time with your family and friends, and if people don’t want to go they don’t want to go and that’s their choice.”