After President Donald Trump spoke about the Patriots’ victory, the team presented him with a Super Bowl 51 jersey and helmet. Coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft both shared remarks.
Quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady did not attend. In a statement published by ESPN, Brady said he was attending to family matters. Dont’a Hightower, Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty, Alan Branch, LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long also did not attend.
In a funny moment ahead of the ceremony, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski crashed White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s press briefing. He could be heard asking Spicer whether he needed any help, to which Spicer replied, “I think I got this, but thank you,” as the press laughed at the exchange.
The visit comes the same day that news broke that former Patriots player Aaron Hernandez took his own life while serving a life sentence at a Massachusetts prison for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.