Bennett openly endorsed Hillary Clinton.
New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett has announced he will skip the team’s trip to the White House when President Donald Trump honors them. The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in a thrilling Super Bowl on Sunday night:
“I haven’t thought about it. I am not going to go,” the New England Patriots tight end said. “I can elaborate later on in life; right now I am just trying to enjoy this … People know how I feel about it, just follow me on Twitter.”
Bennett added that he is “not really worried” about potential backlash over skipping the White House visit from the team’s owner, Robert Kraft, and said that he and his teammates avoid talking politics in the locker room.
“You just don’t bring that to work. We all have our beliefs. We accept people for who they are,” he said.
Bennett endorsed Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Reporters asked him earlier last week if he would go to the White House if the Patriots won:
“I don’t support the guy that’s in the house,” Bennett said when asked to explain.
“America was built on inclusiveness not exclusiveness,” Bennett tweeted last month.
This isn’t the first time athletes have skipped a White House visit. In fact, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady skipped the visit in 2015. He received backlash, but said he had to miss it “due to a family commitment.”
Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk refused to attend a meeting with President Barack Obama in 2013 because of the former president’s Planned Parenthood support:
“I am Catholic, I am active in the pro-life movement, and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with that,” Birk said. “I couldn’t endorse that in any way.”
Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas skipped a trip to the White House to celebrate his team’s Stanley Cup victory due to his political beliefs:
In a statement on Facebook, Thomas cited his belief that “the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties and Property of the People.” For that reason, Thomas said, “I exercised my right as a Free Citizen. … This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country.”
Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez skipped the team’s visit along with GM Theo Epstein, who missed due to family reasons. Apparently Ramirez just didn’t feel like going. As Red Sox fans say, just Manny being Manny.
Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa and superstar Albert Pujols, both known conservatives, did not visit President Barack Obama in 2012. Neither one admitted politics as a factor, but as The Week points out, “both were already on their way out of St. Louis.” LaRussa retired and Pujols signed a deal with the Los Angeles Angels.DONATE
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