Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Patriots hit back at New York Times over White House tweet

Patriots hit back at New York Times over White House tweet

The New England Patriots are disputing a photo tweeted by The New York Times that seemed to show a much bigger turnout for the team's White House visit with President Barack Obama in 2015 than with President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Brady said Wednesday he was "so happy and excited" that the Patriots were being honored at the White House - an event typically held for the winning Super Bowl team. Brady released a statement saying he wouldn't be in Washington D.C. because of "family matters".

Alan Branch initially told reporters he would be staying to spend time with his family, but revealed to the Boston Globehe chose to stay because of sexist remarks made in the past by the president.

One player made an impromptu appearance at a White House press before the official ceremony. Devin McCourty, Alan Branch, Chris Long, Martellus Bennett and LeGarrette Blount all have been outspoken about the fact that they did not feel as though it was appropriate for them to take part in the festivities because of the man occupying the nation's highest office.

The president isn't mentioning quarterback Tom Brady.

Among the Patriots that did make the trip to the White House were Julian Edelman, Jimmy Garoppolo and Rob Gronkowski. The team has not officially commented on this development.

The delegation was made up of Patriots players as well as the organization's personnel.

The team's White House visit capped a dramatic Super Bowl victory.

"Almost brought me to tears", said Mitchell, 23, the 2016 fourth-round draft choice from Georgia.

Just one day before the general election, Trump announced that Brady and Belichick supported his campaign - though Brady's wife Gisele Bundchen later denied that he was a supporter. He peaked out among the crowd and asked Sean Spicer "need any help?"

The president accepted gifts from Kraft and Belichick during the ceremony, a personalized No. 45 Patriots jersey and a team helmet matching the ones used during the Super Bowl. We may never know: We hear the advice football players give to press secretaries is top secret.

"As a kid, you read about history, read about the White House, to actually go in and experience firsthand is something I hope everyone gets the opportunity to do", Mitchell said.

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