On Sunday, the New England Patriots overcame the biggest deficit in Super Bowl history to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. As it stands, champions in their respective sports have traditionally visited the White House to meet the president and celebrate their championship. The New England Patriots are the first visit the White House under our new Head of State and as a result, a few star ballers have opted out of the visit.
After the big win in Super Bowl LI, Patriots tight-end Martellus Bennett said he will not be meeting with the president at the White House. One day later, Devin McCourty followed suit, saying he didn’t feel accepted in the White House.
The first round pick out of Rutgers University spoke with TIME via text message to discuss his decision, simply saying, “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 wont,” he added.
McCourty has been very vocal about his views and beliefs. In the beginning of the season, he was one of few to participate in the National Anthem protests on the field.
“If you see something you feel is wrong in society, why not help out? Why not raise awareness,” he told the publication.