Tom Brady opened up to an Extra reporter last night at the Met Gala about why he didn’t accompany the New England Patriots to the Trump White House on April 19.
Many have wondered why the QB bailed on the traditional ceremony where the NFL Super Bowl winners get to interact with the president, whoever happens to occupy the office at that moment. Brady’s absence was particularly notable in that he and President Trump are longtime pals.
Led by Future Hall of Famer and MVP Brady, the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 by a score of 34-28 in overtime, after trailing 21-3 at halftime and 28 to 3 into the third quarter, the largest comeback in the big game’s history.
The Patriots and the Falcons met at NRG Stadium in Houston on February 5, 2017, in the title matchup in what for the Pats, and Tom Brady in particular, was the culmination of the two-year DeflateGate revenge tour, which had resulted in Brady’s four-game suspension. In so doing, the Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl. Brady is the only quarterback in NFL history to win five Super Bowl rings.
Several other Pats players declined to attend the ceremony on the South Lawn, mainly for political reasons.
During his remarks welcoming the team to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Trump praised a number of the Super Bowl heroes by name, but didn’t mention Brady at all. It’s unclear if Brady and Trump are still on good terms.
In an Instagram post on the morning of the visit, Brady said that he had to deal with some undefined personal family matters, which was presumed to be a reference to his mom, a California resident, who is in a battle with cancer and was visiting Boston at the time. Mrs. Brady was only able to attend one of her son’s games this season, that being the Super Bowl, so the family saved the best for last.
When asked on the red carpet about missing the White House trip, Brady reaffirmed his original reasoning.
“It was to spend time with my mom. And you know, that’s pretty important to me. It’s been a great year, but it’s even better to spend time with my parents, and my kids, and I can’t wait to get that ring. That’s what I’m really looking for, that ring ceremony in a couple of months.”
The superstar also suggested that the team is already gearing up for next season, and in many ways they’ve moved on from the Super Bowl.
Since the New England Patriots are a virtual lock to make the playoffs while Brady, 39, is the signal caller, especially given the otherwise weak AFC East, the team may be back at the White House sooner rather than later. Brady’s Instagram message also seemed to leave the door open for future White House visits should there be more NFL titles in this team’s future. Brady passed up a visit to the Obama White House in 2015, also citing family concerns.
Tom Brady seemed to trigger sportswriters back in September 2015, however, when the media spotted a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker room.
President Trump is also good friends with team owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick.
The superstar quarterback was careful to avoid making any endorsements during the 2016 presidential campaign, repeatedly stressing that his relationship with Trump was based on friendship alone. He often ducked any questions about political support or for whom he voted.
There is some speculation that the image-conscious Brady declined to visit the White House in April because he wanted to avoid any backlash in celebrity circles where President Trump is very unpopular, even though the president regularly mixed with show business people, and they with him, during his long, pre-politics career in the media spotlight. Wife Gisele Bundchen, a Trump foe, allegedly frowned on the Tom Brady White House visit, according to some rumors.
[Featured Image by Elise Amendola/AP Images]