Martellus Bennett Says He Won't Go to White House to Honor Super Bowl 51 Win

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2017

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Martellus Bennett #88 of the New England Patriots celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the first half at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett wasted little time revealing whether he'd join his team when it visits the White House to be honored by President Donald Trump for its thrilling come-from-behind victory in Super Bowl LI.

Bennett told reporters following New England's win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday that he will decline the invite from President Trump, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News.

The Patriots have been linked with Trump more so than any other sports franchise in the United States. On Wednesday, the New York Times' Mark Leibovich reported on the various connections between Trump and New England team owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and star quarterback Tom Brady.

The president gave a shoutout to all three after the Super Bowl:

Bennett played down any ideological differences he and his teammates might share.

"You just don't bring that to work," he said, per George. "We all have our beliefs. We accept people for who they are."

Bennett's decision to skip the White House visit doesn't come as a surprise. During Super Bowl opening night on Monday, he told reporters he was on the fence, adding that he didn't "support the guy that's in the house," per NJ Advance Media's Matt Lombardo.

Bennett wouldn't be the first Patriots star to turn down the opportunity to see the president. Following the Patriots' Super Bowl XLIX victory, Brady decided not to attend the team's White House ceremony, citing a family commitment, per ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.