As you probably couldn’t avoid learning earlier this week, the New England Patriots won against the Atlanta Falcons in the recently concluded NFL Super Bowl LI. In doing so, they established several new records, with the team itself, Quarterback Tom Brady and Head Coach Bill Belichick in particular pulling ahead of their statistical peers in the doing.

One other happy (and gloating) camper on that momentous occasion is President Donald Trump, who made the bold prediction of a Patriots win days before the game (and disproved being a “cursed blessing” after NE staged a dramatic comeback that overturned what could have been a second Super Bowl victory for Atlanta).

As is the norm for champion sports teams, the Patriots are soon to call on President Trump at the White House where they will be feted with executive honors for their triumph. Unfortunately, some of the players have personal reasons not to go.

‘I don’t feel accepted here’

First it was the Patriots’ tight end Martellus Bennett. A staunch critic of President Trump’s administration and policies, he announced after Super Bowl Sunday February 5 that he will not be joining his teammates for their White House courtesy call. He claims he never once thought of going, adding that, "I can elaborate later on in life; right now I am just trying to enjoy this ... People know how I feel about it, just follow me on Twitter."

Just a day later on Monday February 6, NE defensive back and Bennett’s fellow “Black Lives Matter” supporter Devin McCourty sent a text message declaring his own intent of boycotting Trump’s honor ceremony at the White House.

In his case, McCourty plainly explains his feeling of not being accepted in the Presidential residence with Trump as the occupant. “With the President having so many strong opinions and prejudices, I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won't," he said, adding that it was a personal choice and that he couldn’t “imagine a way” that would make it possible for him to attend.

Neither McCourty nor the White House was available for comment on this matter.

Trump’s friends on team

It’s a widely known fact that several key figures in the New England Patriots are close personal friends of President Trump. In addition to Brady and Coach Belichick who were very effusive in their support of him, the commander-in-chief also has close ties to team owner Robert Kraft. Thus far only Bennett and McCourty are known among the team roster to be sure in boycotting the White House visit.