According to the Washington Post, Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett and defensive back Devin McCourty will not be the only players skipping out on the team’s celebratory meeting with the president this year. Defensive end Chris Long, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, running back LeGarrette Blount and defensive tackle Alan Branch have also opted out of the trip to D.C.
Chris Long, who was one of the few white NFL players to publicly come out and support Colin Kaepernick during his National Anthem protests, said he hadn’t been asked to boycott Trump, he had already planned on it.
LeGarrette Blount told the NFL Network, “I will not be going to the White House. It’s just some of the things that — I just don’t feel welcome in that house, I’m going to just leave it at that.”
On the flip side, Alan Branch and Dont’a Hightower declined the White House invitation for non presidential reasons. “I’m going to hang with family and continue to celebrate until next season starts,” Branch told Sirus XM radio, while Hightower essentially has ‘been-there-done-that’ three times in his football career — twice as a member of Alabama’s BCS title-winning teams and once when the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2015.