Two New England Patriots team members decline Donald Trump’s invitation to the White House: here’s why.
Each year, the winning Super Bowl team gets an invitation to the White House. But guess what? Two New England Patriots team members, Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett, say they’re not going. Why? Because of President Donald Trump, of course.
On Sunday, after the New England Patriots’ stunning overtime triumph over the Falcons, Bennett told The Dallas News he’s not going. When asked why, the team’s tight end briefly replied:
“It is what it is. People know how I feel about it. Just follow me on Twitter.”
America was built on inclusiveness not exclusiveness.
— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) January 30, 2017
On Monday, the New England Patriots’ defensive back Devin McCourty told Time that he, too, plans to skip the White House visit. In a text message from the team’s bus, he bluntly wrote:
“I’m not going to the White House. Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”
In other words, he and Martellus Bennett won’t feel comfortable with the likes of Donald Trump and his white supremacist adviser Steve Bannon because they’re black.
Devin McCourty later declared, “I can’t imagine a way I go there.” Time also notes:
Bennett and McCourty have been active in the player protests against racial and economic inequality sparked by San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, raising their fists following the national anthem before a September game.
This snubbing from two highly-visible New England Patriots players has got to hurt.
Donald Trump hasn’t said or tweeted anything about this so far. But given how much he loves being around celebrities, this has got to hurt. Plus, the Donald is tight with the New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, their coach Bill Belichick, and their quarterback Tom Brady.
On Sunday, the president even sent out a cheerful tweet that didn’t insult anyone or brag about himself.
What an amazing comeback and win by the Patriots. Tom Brady, Bob Kraft and Coach B are total winners. Wow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2017
Donald Trump isn’t the only sitting president who has been snubbed. Tom Brady — an avid Trump supporter — blew off the visit Barack Obama after last year’s Super Bowl victory. However, he at least respected Obama enough to tell a white lie about needing to spend time with his family.
But Donald Trump’s cruelty, bigotry, and arrogance takes partisan politics to a whole new level. Especially since the agenda we rejected by over 2.8 million votes puts so many of our lives, communities, and loved ones at risk.
No wonder more people came to protest than to cheer him on during the weekend of his inauguration. No wonder the White House couldn’t find enough marching bands and A-List acts for his inauguration day parade and performances. It never occurred to Donald Trump that many famous people are also part of the groups he wants to push out.
This is what resistance looks like, Donald Trump. This is what not winning the popular vote and not listening to the majority of us looks like. When you’re a divisive president, with a hateful and deeply unpopular agenda who only won because the GOP rigged the system, you lose some of your perks. You don’t get to enjoy a high approval rating, rub elbows with celebrities, or get any respect from the media you so adore.
The next four years are likely to feel as long for Donald Trump as they will for us.
Watch: New England Patriots’ Martellus Bennet and Devin McCourty turn down Donald Trump’s White House invitation.
Featured image: Video screen grab via Time with official portrait of President Donald Trump.