More than 30 Patriots skipped out on White House visit

More than 30 Patriots skipped out on White House visit

More than 30 Patriots skipped out on White House visit

The Patriots visited the White House to celebrate their latest Super Bowl victory on Wednesday - but the event was a bit deflated without the team's biggest star.

No word yet on if White House press secretary Sean Spicer will arrange a news conference to dispute the number of Patriots at the ceremony. Still, one would think that Brady would give a little bit more notice if he planned on being with his family instead of partying at the White House. "They win as a team", President Trump said of their comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

According to the Sporting News, six Patriot players have announced they are not attending the traditional visit.

Trump mentioned eight players specifically, starting with third-year long-snapper Joe Cardona of Navy.

Meanwhile, here are the other Patriots who will not attend Trump's little garden barbecue: LeGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett; Devin McCourty, Alan Branch and Dont'a Hightower.

Tom Brady did not attend, saying in a statement Wednesday that he is attending to "personal family matters".

With Wednesday's ceremony a thing of the past, the Patriots will turn their attention toward a potential repeat in 2017 as they seek a return trip to the South Lawn of the White House this time next year.

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Trump did not mention Brady, who was awarded the Super Bowl MVP award and whom he has called a friend, in his absence. Hernandez was acquitted just days ago of the 2012 shootings of two other men in Boston.

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"Thank you to the president for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team as long as I can remember", Brady said.

"It's interesting", New England owner Robert Kraft said on "The Today Show".

Blount, who led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns this season, told NFL Network's Rich Eisen, "I just don't feel welcome in that house, I'm going to just leave it at that".

Thirty four members of the Patriots squad were absent from the visit, while 34 attended the ceremony.

Guards found the 27-year-old Hernandez hanging from a bedsheet in his cell Wednesday morning at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, where he was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction.

UPDATE: Without Trump even having to ask, the New England Patriots rushed to his defense, tweeting that the two pics "lack context" and that the 2015 pic included team staff lining the stairs.

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