Tom Brady won’t be joining his Super Bowl-winning teammates during the New England Patriots’ scheduled visit to the White House on Wednesday, a move that’s raising speculation that Brady’s support of Donald Trump may be waning since he took office.
According to a report from Associated Press, the Super Bowl LI champs will be greeted by U.S. President Trump when they visit the White House today to take part in a special ceremony, but QB Brady has bowed out of attending, telling the White House he’ll instead be dealing with “a personal family matter.”
Brady’s no-show has been raising eyebrows as to what that means about his relationship with Trump, whom Brady supported big-league (to paraphrase Trump) during his campaign, speaking highly of the then-candidate and even allowing a photo taken of the “Make America Great Again” baseball cap he kept in his Patriots’ locker.
“Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I support all my friends. That is what I have to say. He’s a good friend of mine. He’s always been so supportive of me,” said Brady back in December 2015. “For the last 15 years, since I judged a beauty pageant for him, which was one of the very first things that I did that I thought was really cool that came along with winning the Super Bowl. He’s always invited me to play golf and I’ve always enjoyed his company. I support all my friends in everything they do. I think it’s pretty remarkable what he’s achieved in his life. You’re going from business, kind of an incredible businessman and then a TV star, and then getting into politics. It’s three different career paths. I think that is pretty remarkable.”
In fact, Trump even issued a tweet thanking Brady for his support:
A great honor from somebody that knows how to win! https://t.co/syJH9OT0zX
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2015
As for Wednesday’s ceremony, AP reports that “some Patriots players intended to skip the White House visit because they oppose Trump’s presidency,” while it’s also important to note that Patriots owner Robert Kraft is a longtime Trump friend.
Is Brady distancing himself from Trump? In his statement explaining why he won’t be attending, Brady thanks the president “for hosting this honourary celebration and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember. In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend today’s ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters. Hopefully, if we accomplish the goal of winning the championship in the future years, we will be back on the South Lawn again soon.”
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