Patriots quarterback Tom Brady released a statement Wednesday morning stating he will not be attending the team's visit to the White House.
“I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today. Our team has accomplished something very special that we are all proud of and will be for years to come. Thank you to the President for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember. In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend today’s ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters. Hopefully, if we accomplish the goal of winning a championship in the future years, we will [be] back on the South Lawn again soon. Have a great day!”
The quarterback missed the team's previous White House visit when Barack Obama was in office citing a "priorfamilycommitment." His mother,Galynn, missed all of last season's games other than the Super Bowl as she dealt with her bout with cancer.
According to the Boston Herald, Brady's mother is in town from California and he's spending time with her. Per Herald sources, "Brady had fully intended on attending the ceremony prior to making this decision."
Other Patriots players previously announced they won't be attending the ceremony, citing political statements and other conflicts. That list of players includeDevin McCourty, LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch, Dont'a Hightower, Chris Long and Martellus Bennett.
Brady has strong ties to president Donald Trump, repeating over the last few years that they are personal friends. The QB was involved in some controversy for supporting Trump, so he eventually backed off and refused to answer questions about the president.