President Donald Trump welcomed the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots to the White House on Wednesday and it went as these things usually do.
But the U.S. President only lauded two of those people Wednesday, while completely neglecting the third. Tom Brady was a no-show (as he was in 2015) citing "personal matters" but said he hoped to be back on the South Lawn for a future championship.
"Whether trying to win a Super Bowl or rebuilding our country there are no days off", Trump said.
We understand not wasting an acknowledgment on someone who isn't present, but Trump also praised wide receiver Danny Amendola, who wasn't in attendance.
While Super Bowl champions have skipped the White House visit in recent years - including Brady, who cited scheduling conflicts in 2015 - all eyes were on the Patriots this year, who are in a particularity notable position because they have been linked to Trump in the past. Others thought that Brady, who'd attended three prior White House ceremonies with President Bush, was making more of a political statement.
Trump has particularly close ties to the Patriots, counting owner Bob Kraft and coach Bill Belichick as friends.
Photos released by the National Parks Service show former President Obama's first inauguration in 2009..
However, six of his teammates have publicly said they will not attend the event due to their opposition to Trump: tight end Martellus Bennet, safety Devin McCourty, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive tackle Alan Branch, and defensive end Chris Long.
After the Super Bowl, McCourty told Time he wouldn't attend because he doesn't "feel accepted in the White House".
"He's built a culture dedicated to winning", Trump said. "This year, we had 34 players attend". Both are known among Trump's friends, and Kraft dined with the president and the Japanese prime minister in February at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida before traveling to Washington for a brief visit to the White House.
That prepared line led seamlessly into Trump's story about Belichick, who last fall had written the then-Republican nominee a letter of encouragement.
If it was not already clear that the President is very tall, look at how the framing of this shot makes him look like his looming over Patriots owner Robert Kraft. At a November rally in New Hampshire, Trump said Brady called him just after the election to say he voted for him.