New England Patriots Fire Back at NY Times Over White House Photo

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Some players reportedly declined to attend the White House ceremony because they didn't want to be seen with Trump.

The New York Times sports desk tweeted pictures comparing the size of the New England Patriots' turnout at the White House in 2015 and in 2017, visually indicating that many more Patriots visited the White House under Pres. Obama than Pres. Trump.

As is the tradition, there were plenty of photo opps, including a group photo.

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The first was taken during the Patriots' visit with President Barack Obama in 2015, with the second being the Patriots' visit with President Trump on Wednesday.

In all, 34 players attended Wednesday's ceremony, a total similar to the team's past visits in 2004 and 2005 but significantly less than those attending the 2002 and 2015 post-Super Bowl visits.

After the tweet was sent out, the Patriots replied back saying the comparison was misleading and lacked context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. "In 2017, they were seated on the south lawn". "The photo from Wednesday only showed players and coaches; the 2015 photo showed players, coaches and support staff and has been removed", the correction note said.

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The team invited 68 players - including all 53 players on the active roster at the end of the season, practice-squad members and those on injured reserve - and exactly half showed up to celebrate the team's Super Bowl victory with president Donald Trump. "Today, we had 34", the tweet read. ".This year, for some unusual reason, the question was being asked at the Super Bowl before the game was played". As for Branch, he told CNN's Don Lemon, he declined the visit because of sexists comments the President made about women on an Access Hollywood video.

"I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today", the quarterback said in a statement Wednesday morning.

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