Six Patriots Players have boycotted the White House visit. So what happens now?
The New England Patriots won Super Bowl LI exactly one week ago as of the writing of this article. Since then, six Patriots have announced that they will not attend while there are a few others who are currently on the fence. Among the players who’ve made their announcement, running back LeGarrette Blount has said that he “doesn’t feel welcome in that house” and tight end Martellus Bennett said “America was built on inclusiveness, not exclusiveness.” Additionally, running back James White, who scored the game-winning touchdown, has not made a formal decision yet, has said that he’ll wait on receiving the invite before making the decision.
So, this upcoming White House visit is a point of extreme contention so now two more questions arise: Who else will come out and boycott the visit? And, what will this do, if anything, to the Patriots team going forward? It’s interesting to think about these things, especially because you have to consider whether this, in any way, could sow any kind of discord within the team and in between players.
Honestly, I don’t think that this’ll really be a problem, especially given that the Patriots are a very tightly run team. There is no way that Bill Belichick would allow something like that to affect his team and he would have no problem jettisoning any players who create problems on the team. However, the greater cultural effect could have considerable effects on the team and maybe even the league (though that part isn’t too likely).
What could happen to a team that was labeled as “Team Trump” leading up to the Super Bowl, particularly when a number of their significant role players refuse to join the team in celebrating their championship? Already, it seems that the upcoming Patriots’ White House visit will be more about who’s not there rather than who is, which is disappointing. The simple fact that football has now been fully politicized really is sad and it’s a sad reflection on the state of this country.