The decision for championship-winning athletes has always been fairly easy for some athletes, with most deciding to attend the traditional White House photo-op with the President of the United States. But there are noticeable examples of those who decided against it, citing political opposition to an administration's policies.
When it comes to Black athletes, most of the talk has centered on Black oppression. However, the last year New England Patriots' QB Tom Brady decided against visiting the White House of Barack Obama. But no satisfactory explanation was ever given. Brady's, as well as Patriots owner Robert Kraft's, friendship and support of then presidential candidate Donald J. Trump says more about that move than anything we could possibly speculate upon.
Now, with several African American New England Patriots, as well as a white player sensitive to their cause, deciding against heading to the White House in protest of Trump's xenophobic and racist policies, everybody's jock strap is rubbing them the wrong way.
Back in February, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty announced that he would not be attending the festivities. McCourty will be joined in his protest by Martellus Bennett, Dont'a Hightower, LeGarrette Blount and the aforementioned Chris Long.In February, Brady was asked about all of the players skipping.
"It really is a great experience," Brady told PFT Live. "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. 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."
McCourty explained his decision in greater detail on Friday.
"For me, it was just the different things that come out of the White House or the administration just didn't agree or align with some of my views," McCourty said. "I talked to Chris Long. I thought he said it the best. He has a young son. And he said, whatever happens from this administration ... he doesn't want his son to grow up and say, 'Dad, you knew that was the wrong thing to do at the time. Why did you do it? You knew what was right.'"