It's a ritual the New England Patriots are pretty familiar with by now, having gotten the conquering hero treatment as recently as 2015, when they came out en masse for a photo op with President Barack Obama.
It wasn't a lie - just a lack of perspective.
But the Times fumbled the tweet about the Patriots visit and the football team's official Twitter emerged from the backfield to correct them. Hopefully, if we accomplish the goal of winning a championship in the future years, we will back on the South Lawn again soon. "In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend today's ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters", he added.
Despite the low turnout, the Patriots have ties with the Trump administration as owner Robert K. Kraft donated $1 million to inauguration festivities.
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"James said that one reason substantially fewer players showed up this time as compared to 2015 was that some veteran players did not see the need to go twice in three years", The New York Times reported. Quarterback Tom Brady, who was previously spoken about his relationship with Trump was not in attendance on Wednesday.
Gronkowski and members of the New England Patriots were at the White House to be honoured for their win in the Super Bowl LI earlier this year.
It may not be the first White House trip the New England Patriots have made.
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"I think I got this", a surprised Spicer told Gronkowski, after the receiver stuck his head through the door of the press room and asked Spicer if he needed help.
'Thank you to the President for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember, ' the statement said in part.
Some veteran players were simply bored with the process after appearing at the White House two years ago, the spokesman told the Times. He also harkened back to the letter Belichick sent him during the campaign, which he read aloud at a campaign rally.
Not every player skipped out on the event for political reasons. And [Belichick] wrote me this handsome letter after the primaries.
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