The New England Patriots was the first championship team to pay Trump a visit at the White House, but many of the players skipped the trip. This put President Trump in an awkward situation when he congratulated receiver Danny Amendola for his amazing performance in Super Bowl LI, but Amendola was not present.
The Team’s Most Prominent Players Skipped Visit
“The fourth-down conversion by Danny Amendola, where is Danny?,” the president said while checking the players behind him. When somebody told him the player couldn’t make it, Trump said “Way to go, Danny.”
The president also tried to not mention other players that skipped the visit Wednesday. He congratulated Trey Flowers for his Super Bowl sack, but remained silent on linebacker Dont’a Hightower whose strip sack was probably one of the most memorable moments of the game. Hightower was also absent.
The president had to publicly praise lesser known players such as Marcus Cannon, Matthew Slater, and Nate Ebner, but failed to mention the man whose touchdown in overtime helped the team win the Super Bowl, James White, who also skipped the trip.
Moreover, Trump didn’t say a word about the team’s star Tom Brady who cited a family situation before skipping the event. Trump and Brady have a good relationship, but the quarterback has refused to discuss about Trump in recent months.
The president focused much of its speech on the team’s owner Robert Kraft, who gave him a Patriots jersey with No. 45 on it and the team’s coach Bill Belichick, who handed him a helmet. Both of them are Trump supporters.
Trump Thanks Coach Belichick
Belichick, for instance, penned an encouraging letter to Trump before the Nov. 8 election. When the then-presidential candidate asked for his permission to read the letter at a rally before the big day, Belichick reportedly sent him an improved version of the letter to read.
According to Trump, the coach insisted he didn’t read the original letter and read an improved one instead. Trump said that the original letter was “so nice,” but the improved one was “much better.” The letter reportedly helped him do very well in that state.
Thank you, coach. That was very good. He’s just a special guy,
Trump said Wednesday about Belichick.
One journalist compared a photo of the Patriots meeting with former president Obama in 2015, and the Pats encounter with Trump in 2017.
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 19, 2017
On Wednesday, 34 players made it to the White House but many were missing in the photo. This means that the journalist either skipped some of them when counting or some of the missing players were at the White House but didn’t appear in the photo.
Later that day the team confirmed that they had 34 players present but many of them did not appear in the photo because they were seated on the South lawn. In 2015, all 40 players were on the stairs with Obama.
Image Source: Wikimedia