As Patriots visited Trump, Gisele tweeted about anti-Trump climate rally
The Patriots won the Super Bowl two years ago in 2015, and pretty much everyone showed up to hang with Obama - but as this photo shows, in 2017...not so much. As clarified by the spokesman - and reiterated in the Patriots' tweet - some photos of the annual ceremonies don't feature the team's support staff on the stairs, including this year's.
Patriots players did not speak about Hernandez's death at the White House and team officials earlier said they would not comment.
In all, 34 players were present for the Wednesday afternoon ceremony on the South Lawn, a total similar to the team's past visits in 2004 and 2005 but noticeably fewer than in 2002 and 2015.
Super Bowl MVP quarterback Tom Brady, who is friends with Trump, was notably not in attendance. The photo comparison was also used in a story on the Times' website before being removed with a correction. There has been speculation that the Patriots' D.C. visit may have been the final straw. "That's the beauty of what they do, they win as a team", said Trump, who compared the team's 25-point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in February to his own political upset.
Blount-who is now an unsigned free agent-and McCourty both previously said in interviews they wouldn't take part in the festivities because they didn't feel welcome at the White House.
One of those faces included the Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady.
Also missing were defensive end Chris Long, running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive tackle Alan Branch, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, defensive back Devin McCourty and tight end Martellus Bennett, some of whom explicitly cited their opposition to Trump as their reason for not attending.
Trump, who is on favorable terms with coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft, was unable to see another one of his friends on Wednesday.