New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady announced he will not be in attendance when his team celebrates their 2017 Super Bowl championship at the White House on Wednesday.
ESPN NFL Nation reporter Mike Weiss reported the news on Wednesday, posting Brady's statement in which the five-time Super Bowl champion cited "personal family matters" as reasoning for his absence.
Tom Brady is not attending White House ceremony today due to "personal family matters." His statement: pic.twitter.com/OIidVZX3VV
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 19, 2017
"I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today," Brady wrote in his statement. "In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend today's ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters."
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While many athletes have skipped their respective celebratory White House visits with the president, Brady was the first Patriots player to do so when he backed out of White House plans citing a "family commitment" in 2015.
Ties between President Trump and New England franchise owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady -- the prominent Patriots figure heads -- were a prominent storyline in the 2016 NFL season, which makes Brady's absence on Wednesday even more so curious.
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Brady kept the message of his announcement positive, though, expressing optimism that the Patriots will have another opportunity to celebrate a Super Bowl championship again in the future, saying, "Hopefully if we accomplish the goal of winning a championship in the future years, we will back on the South Lawn again soon."
At least six 2017 Super Bowl champion players have expressed their intentions to boycott the Patriots' White House visit, with some expressing opposition to President Trump's platform.
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