NFL champs to visit Trump hours after ex-player's death

Aaron Hernandez

There has been plenty of speculation about why New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn't accompany his team Wednesday during the customary visit to the White House for Super Bowl champions. Brady's reason is different, personal family matters.

Daniels noted that among other Patriots missing from the White House were Malcolm Butler, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis, James White and Dont'a Hightower.

The rest of the Patriots will still attend the ceremony honoring the team for its Super Bowl win, despite Hernandez's suicide.

One player made an impromptu appearance at a White House press before the official ceremony.

National Football League star Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski made a cameo appearance at Sean Spicer's White House press briefing. The team has not officially commented on this development.

College and professional sports teams routinely visit the White House after winning a championship.

"I have three daughters", defensive lineman Alan Branch told the Boston Globe, "I wouldn't spend time away from my family to shake the hand of a guy I wouldn't want to meet with or talk to".

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The 27-year-old poked his head around a screen behind press secretary Sean Spicer's podium and, very nonchalantly, asked him, "You need some help?"

Brady is not the only powerful and important player in the Patriots organization with ties to Trump.

"I think I got this, but thank you", Spicer replied with a smile.

Trump worked some politics in, too, when he explained more about the election eve letter he read from Bill Belichick to a New Hampshire crowd last November.

Kraft and Belichick presented Trump with a number 45 jersey and a Super Bowl LI helmet. He said almost 50 players attended the event in 2015 when Obama hosted.

In an interview with Time magazine safety Devin McCourty had previously said he was not going to the ceremony because he didn't feel accepted in the White House.