Six Pa­tri­ots now say they will skip White House visit

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DES BIELER

The New England Pa­tri­ots re­cently won their fifth Su­per Bowl ti­tle. The num­ber of New England play­ers say­ing they’ll skip the tra­di­tional cham­pi­ons’ visit to the White House is now up to six, and may get larger.

De­fen­sive end Chris Long, run­ning back LeGar­rette Blount and de­fen­sive tackle Alan Branch added their names to the list Thurs­day, join­ing tight end Martel­lus Ben­nett, de­fen­sive back Devin McCourty and line­backer Dont’a Hightower as hav­ing pub­licly stated an in­ten­tion not to ac­com­pany the team on its ex­pected trip to Washington later this year. Some, but not all, of the six play­ers cited an an­tipa­thy to U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump as their rea­son.

Run­ning back James White, who scored three touch­downs in the Su­per Bowl, and line­backer Rob Ninkovich have said that they were un­sure if they would make the trip.

It is even pos­si­ble that an in­vi­ta­tion from 1600 Penn­syl­va­nia Ave. won’t be ex­tended to New England at all, de­spite the ties to Kraft, Brady and Belichick, if enough play­ers stage a boy­cott and Trump’s own team de­cides that the op­tics would be bad for him.

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