New England Patriots Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty skipping White House visit
February 7, 2017
The pinnacle of the NFL season was held at NRG stadium in Houston, Texas where the New England Patriots came back against the Atlanta Falcons to win Super Bowl XLI. Media coverage was centered around Tom Brady and Bill Belichick cementing themselves among football greats, but it was a backup tight end for the Patriots who managed to steal some of the limelight.
The newly acquired tight end for the New England Patriots, Martellus Bennett, was open about his disapproval of the team’s visit to the White House upon their victory when asked at Super Bowl Media day. Bennett furthermore stated his stance on the topic when questioned after the big game,
“I haven’t thought about it. I am not going to go,” Bennett said. Bennett also stated that he is not worried when it comes to the potential punishment he could receive from his team’s owner, Robert Kraft.
Since the time of his post game interview, Bennett has gained a fellow teammate, Devin McCourty, who supports his idea of not attending the celebratory White House trip.
McCourty explained his decision to reporters, “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”
Bennett and McCourty are the first Patriots to voice their opinions against New England Patriots supporter, Donald Trump.
Both McCourty and Bennett have both been advocates this season for the Black Lives Matter movement. Both Bennett and McCourty were seen raising their right hand in the form of a fist during the national anthem of their September game with the Arizona Cardinals. During the civil rights movement, African Americans would raise their right fist was a sign of unity against the oppression they faced.
The idea of athletes not visiting the White House was first brought about when Cavaliers forward, Richard Jefferson, stated prior to their visit, “Words cannot express the honor I feel being the last team to visit the White House tomorrow.”
The Patriots would be the first team in Trump’s presidency to visit the White House out of the four major sports leagues.