It doesn't look like the Patriots will be heading to the White House to celebrate their sixth Super Bowl championship. President Trump's favorite football team still hasn't scheduled a trip to the capital, according to NBC Sports Boston's Tom Curran, which puts them far behind the previous five winners, all of whom visited by the middle of May. Two years ago, the Patriots conducted their photo-op with Trump in mid-April.
Tom Brady decided to skip the highly publicized trip, leading to a reported eruption from Trump. Notably, the President didn't mention Brady in his remarks on the South Lawn, even though Trump continuously touted his relationship with the Patriots' quarterback on the campaign trial. Brady stored a "Make America Great Again" cap in his locker at the onset of Trump's campaign in 2015, leading to the two being linked together for the next 15 months.
While Brady was originally candid about his Trump ties -- calling him a "great friend" -- TB12 stopped speaking about Trump publicly. He seemingly decided it wasn't worth the backlash, which appears to be why the Patriots will forego the formerly traditional White House trip.
In addition to the Trump component, Robert Kraft's legal situation might also be contributing to the Patriots' decision to stay away. As Curran writes, the Patriots' owner probably doesn't want to subject himself to scrutiny about the appropriateness of his presence at the ceremony. There's also the likelihood that Trump would defend his longtime pal at the White House lectern, which would be embarrassing at best and wildly distasteful at worst.
Bill Belichick's Trump support has never wavered, from his flowery endorsement letter in 2016 to frequent late-night chats with the Commander-in-Chief. But Curran points out Belichick might not want to be put himself at public odds with many of the team's core players, such as Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty and Matthew Slater, who would probably boycott any sort of White House visit.
Trump loves attaching himself to "winners," and through the first two-and-a-half years of his tumultuous presidency, that's meant lauding his beloved Patriots. The affair may now be over, however, unless Trump can get past the slight.
By Alex Reimer