On the day one of their former stars died, the Patriots met with Donald Trump at the White House.
4The New England Patriots meet President Donald Trump without some teammates who stayed away in protest. For more on the Patriots White House visit, see page 31.
Tom Brady was not present for Wednesday’s celebration of the Super Bowl champion Patriots at the White House with President Donald Trump. Brady said that he was dealing with “personal matters.”
“Thank you to the president for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember,” Brady said in a statement. “In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend [Wednesday’s] ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters.”
Brady did not go into specifics, but it is thought to be related to his mother — who is battling cancer.
Trump did not mention Brady during his speech to Patriots players.
It’s highly unlikely that Brady’s absence has anything to do with his relationship with former teammate Aaron Hernandez, who is said to have committed suicide Wednesday morning in his prison cell in Shirley.
Brady has not acknowledged Hernandez publicly since June of 2013, when Hernandez was initially arrested. According to Hernandez, of all the Patriots’ teammates he had — he was closest with Brady.
“The closest I was with was probably Brady and whom I love to death and always will and only hope the best for [him],” Hernandez wrote in a December 2015 letter to a female pen pal (letter obtained by TMZ Sports). “But [I] was cool with Julez, Branch [I f--cked with and got mad love for] and ‘the BEST TE ever to walk on a football field’ Gronk!”
Hernandez shredded owner Robert Kraft in the letter in which he praised Brady, saying he was “fake ass non-loyal Kraft, who told me he loved me every time he seen me but obviously shows his word ain’t sh-t.”
President Barack Obama honors Super Bowl XLIX champion New England Patriots at the White House on April 23, 2015. ALL PHOTOS BY GETTY IMAGES
President Donald Trump poses for photographs with the New England Patriots during a celebration of the team’s Super Bowl victory on the South Lawn at the White House on Wednesday.