Trump congratulates Patriots, doesn't mention Hernandez

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The quarterback said he hoped the team could win another championship and visit the White House again soon, and wished his teammates well. In 2015, the Patriots had won their first Super Bowl in 11 years and most of the players were enjoying their first opportunity to visit the White House. But, according to the team, the picture from this year is misleading.

Defensive end Chris Long, defensive tackle Alan Branch and linebacker Dont'a Hightower said they would not make the trip, though not necessarily for political reasons. "In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn", the team's official account tweeted.

Patriots' owner Robert Kraft compared his team's remarkable comeback, after being down 21 to 3 at halftime and overtime, to President Trump's unlikely campaign to win the White House.

Casting a pall over the ceremony was the news about Hernandez, who hanged himself in a prison cell hours before the White House visit, according to MA prison officials.

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"Basic reason for me is I don't feel accepted in the White House".

Their remarks on Wednesday were limited to the ceremony, in which Kraft said, "It's a distinct honor for us to celebrate what was unequivocally our sweetest championship with a very good friend and somebody whose mental toughness and strength I greatly admire".

"Need some help?" asks the Super Bowl LI victor, who was visiting the president with his team to celebrate their victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The NFL quarterback has a highly publicized friendship with Trump.

"He called today and he said, 'Donald, I support you, you're my friend and I voted for you, '" Trump said, to cheers, adding that Brady gave him permission to tell the crowd how he voted. Brady also missed the White House visit in 2015 when Obama was in office, citing "family issues". He said a "family commitment" prevented him from attending the 2015 ceremony held by then-President Obama.

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Conflicting offseason plans from other players and coaches surely played a role.

As we learned before the Super Bowl, Tom's mother, Galynn Brady, has been battling cancer over the past year, so many are anxious that the "personal family matter" he skipped White House event for has to do with her.

"I don't believe in excluding other people", free safety Devin McCourty explained in a video released at the end of last week.

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