On the heels of the New England Patriots’ win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, Patriots safety Duron Harmon has said he won’t be going along with his team to visit the Trump White House for the traditional victory celebration, according to The Hill.
“They don’t want me in the White House,” said Harmon.
Harmon was a defensive standout for the Patriots in the game, breaking up a fourth-quarter pass to Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks that likely would have resulted in a touchdown. He was also instrumental in causing Rams quarterback Jared Goff to throw his team’s final interception to effectively end the game.
In lieu of making the trip to the White House, Harmon added that it “would be dope” to have an alternative visit with President Obama along the lines of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors meeting with the former president earlier this year.
“We love you over here, man,” Harmon said of Obama.
The Warriors were uninvited from their own visit with President Donald Trump following their 2017 NBA championship win, when star point guard Stephen Curry announced he wouldn’t be going with the team if they went to the Trump White House.
President Trump has said he is a fan of the Patriots, even going so far as to predict their victory in a Face the Nation interview on Sunday. Trump is also said to be friends with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, head coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft, all of whom have expressed public support for the president. Even so, both Brady and Kraft were mildly critical of Trump in 2017, when he called for the immediate firing of NFL players who protest during the national anthem in order to highlight systemic racism and police violence in black communities.
“People love to come to the White House,” Trump said during Sunday’s interview. “So the Patriots were here two years ago, and I’m sure they’ll be back.”
However, when the Patriots won Super Bowl LI following the 2016 season, Harmon was among a handful of players who opted out of the White House visit, the first by a professional sports team during Trump’s presidency.
Much like the Warriors, last year’s Super Bowl winners, the Philadelphia Eagles, were also disinvited from their White House visit by Trump at the height of the national anthem protests by NFL players when Trump learned that a number of players were planning to opt out of the visit.