New England Patriots visit White House; Gronk crashes Sean Spicer briefing

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"They win as a team", President Trump said of their comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

A reporter for ESPN, Mike Reiss, shared the great quarterback's statement on Twitter several hours before the visit.

"I said, 'Coach do you mind if I read the letter tonight to a stadium full of people in an important state.' He said, 'You know what I'd rather not have you do that". But, according to the team, the picture from this year is misleading.

Kraft said it was the team's "distinct honor" to celebrate the victory "with a very good friend".

But Brady said due to some "recent developments", he is unable to be there because he is "attending to some personal family matters". Brady also missed the White House visit in 2015 when Obama was in office, citing "family issues".

Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, and Brady have all admitted to being friends with Trump, so the Patriots feeling the need to combat the photo isn't a surprise.

Other members of the Patriots had made it clear they will skip Wednesday's visit over disagreements with President Trump. The boycott is attributed to Donald Trump being elected president. "In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn", the team's official account tweeted.

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

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Casting a pall over the ceremony was the news about Hernandez, who hanged himself in a prison cell hours before the White House visit, according to MA prison officials.

The visit was the first for the Trump administration under the age-old tradition of champions visiting the White House.

Devin McCourty told Time Magazine, "Basic reason for me is I don't feel accepted in the White House".

It's not uncommon for just a few representatives from Super Bowl championship teams to make the ceremonial trip to the White House.

Brady also opted to not to visit the Obama White House after the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

Hernandez - who played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012 - was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction.

"Patriots say (number) of players was smaller this year than 2015, but total delegation was roughly the same", the publication wrote.