PA­TRIOT GAMES

On the day one of their for­mer stars died, the Pa­tri­ots met with Don­ald Trump at the White House.

Metro USA (Boston) - - WKND - MATT BURKE

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.

The Pa­tri­ots pre­sented Don­ald Trump, the 45th pres­i­dent of the United States, with a No. 45 jersey on Wednes­day in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. GETTY IM­AGES

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