A second New England Patriots player is on the record as saying that if the New England Patriots are invited to the White House as part of events to commemorate their win in Super Bowl LI, he will not attend.
Safety Devin McCourty, a Patriots team captain, Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro pick this year, affirmed he won’t make the trip, joining teammate Martellus Bennett.
“I’m not going to the White House,” McCourty told Time in a text message. “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 won’t.”
The decision on whether or not to attend is a personal one, McCourty said, adding, “I can’t imagine a way I go there.”
What remains to be seen is whether any more Patriots players (or coaches) follow suit and elect to opt out of the trip to Washington.
McCourty and Bennett were also the only Patriots players to visibly protest earlier this season, raising their right fists during the national anthem, following the movement started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Patriots have been in the crosshairs for many over the past several months, as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have declared President Donald Trump a friend, and Trump using their names as a means of political gain. New England owner Robert Kraft is also a friend of Trump, visiting him in Trump Tower after the election and attending the inauguration last month.
When the Patriots went to the White House in 2015, after winning Super Bowl XLIX, Brady skipped the event, though the team said he had a previously planned family commitment.