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.
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:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
What an amazing comeback and win by the Patriots. Tom Brady, Bob Kraft and Coach B are total winners. Wow!2/6/2017, 3:36:54 AM
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.