Kraft continued: "In that same year, a very good friend of mine for over 25 years, a man who is as mentally tough and hardworking as anybody I know, launched a campaign for the presidency against 16 career politicians, facing odds nearly as long as we faced in the fourth quarter (of Super Bowl LI)". While politics certainly played a role for some, others may have had a been-there-done-that attitude. Five of the men cited political reasons for not attending the White House ceremony, while Hightower, who had previously visited with a championship winning Alabama college football team, said: "Been there, done that". Hernandez was serving life in prison for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
TRUMP: Now, immediately to me that means he's going to tone it down 'cause what he said was so nice. In 2005, only 27 Patriots showed up according to CSN New England, and 36 attended in 2004, both during the George W. Bush administration. He was back in Boston spending time with his family.
"Need some help", Gronkowski asked to a chorus of laughter. Spicer - an avid Patriots fan - responded: "I think I got this".More news: Fox News fires Bill O'Reilly after sexual harassment accusations
Galynn Brady, Tom's mother, has been battling cancer and is now in Boston which may be the reason for his inability to attend the event. However players Devin McCourty, Martellus Bennett, Chris Long, Dont'a Hightower and LeGarrette Blount all made a decision to skip the South Lawn visit for political differences.
Kraft said he was delighted to be honored by Trump for a remarkable comeback victory that he said echoed the president's own longshot campaign "against 16 career politicians facing odds nearly as long as we faced in the fourth quarter".
Regarding Hernandez, who was found dead in his prison cell early Wednesday, neither Kraft nor Belichick took questions from reporters after the ceremony to share their thoughts. "In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn", the team's official account tweeted.More news: Aaron Hernandez's family to donate his brain for CTE research
Devin McCourty told Time Magazine, "Basic reason for me is I don't feel accepted in the White House".
"What a great day it is to be with all of our friends at the White House". "With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices, I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won't", he said.More news: Republicans float health care compromise ahead of Trump's 100-day mark
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