However, this year there are players who are deciding to reject the invitation. A few New England Patriot players (both white and black) have stated that they will not be visiting The White House.
Critics have already taken to social media to voice their opposition against the players’ decision; primarily saying that decision breaks a longstanding and respectful tradition.
This is not the first-time players have chosen to boycott a White House visit. According to USA Today, both Tom Brady of the Patriots and Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens chose to forego a visit to The White House when their teams won and President Barack Obama was in office.
Brady stated he had a scheduling conflict and Birk was opposed to the Obama administration’s stance on abortion. Whatever their reasons were, it was their choice as to whether they would visit The White House with their teams or stay on the sidelines.
This has never been a hot issue in sports until this year when we have arguably our most controversial Commander-In-Chief, who obviously enjoys a close relationship with quarterback Tom Brady.
Donald Trump ran a campaign based on bigotry, name-calling and other forms of bullying. His negative comments towards women, minorities, the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities was unbecoming of anyone; particularly a candidate for president of the United States.
Republicans before Donald Trump won the election were distancing themselves from him, as they were also appalled by his comments.
I do not blame the players who do not want to visit The White House.
In fact, I applaud them for taking that stance and not bowing down to a ritual that once again is not an obligation.