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Patriots slam New York Times photos showing apparent discrepancy in turnout for White House visits under Trump and Obama

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The New England Patriots' much anticipated visit to the White House was met with a lot of scrutiny, but in the end, they were the ones slamming reports that suggested their turnout was drastically smaller than previous years.

The visit was the first for the Trump administration under the age-old tradition of champions visiting the White House. However, with several players previously saying they would not attend as a protest to President Donald Trump, and with Tom Brady announcing on the day of the visit that he would be absent, all eyes were on just how many players would show up.

A tweet and a story from the New York Times strongly suggested that the number was far less this year than when the Patriots visited President Barack Obama in 2015.

Even before the Patriots responded, there was a big problem with the comparison. 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. Things were different this year as more than 40% of the roster (21 of 53) had Super Bowl experience. While politics certainly played a role for some, others may have had a been-there-done-that attitude.

But then the Patriots pointed out an even bigger reason to be skeptical of the two photos: protocol was different in 2017.

Ouch!

A quick count of those standing on the stairs suggests that the Patriots' math still doesn't make up for the entire discrepancy. But it is obvious that the difference in the number of players is not as big as the Times photos suggest.

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New England Patriots 2017 visit to the White House
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New England Patriots 2017 visit to the White House
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 19: U.S. President Donald Trump congratulates the 2017 Super Bowl Champions the New England Patriots at the White House in Washington, United States on April 19, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 19: U.S. President Donald Trump (C) poses for a photo with the 2017 Super Bowl Champions the New England Patriots at the White House in Washington, United States on April 19, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks while hosting the New England Patriots and team owner Robert Kraft during a celebration of the team's Super Bowl victory on the South Lawn at the White House April 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. It was the team's fifth Super Bowl victory since 1960. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (C) is congratulated by U.S. President Donald Trump during an event celebrating the team's Super Bowl win on the South Lawn at the White House April 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. It was the team's fifth Super Bowl victory since 1960. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON D.C. - APRIL 19: President Donald Trump holds a New England Patriots helmet as Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, and Patriots player Julian Edelman, rear, look on during a ceremony at the White House in Washington D.C. on Apr. 19,. 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 19: U.S. President Donald Trump (C) holds up a customized jersey presented to him by 2017 Super Bowl Champions the New England Patriots during their visit to the White House in Washington, United States on April 19, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON D.C. - APRIL 19: A staff member sprays Windex on the New England Patriots' five Super Bowl trophies as they sit on a podium on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington D.C., where the Patriots are guests for a ceremony with President Donald Trump on Apr. 19, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: New England Patriots listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony where he honored the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots for their Super Bowl LI victory on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: President Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony where he honored the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots for their Super Bowl LI victory on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: U.S. President Donald Trump poses for photographs with the New England Patriots during a celebration of the team's Super Bowl victory on the South Lawn at the White House April 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. It was the team's fifth Super Bowl victory since 1960. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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