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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady skipped a visit to the White House on Thursday.

Brady did not attend the ceremony for the defending Super Bowl champions due to a family commitment, a team official told The Hill.

President Obama gave the players who did attend a hard time about the “Deflategate” scandal that erupted during their championship run.

“I usually tell jokes at these events, but I was worried 11 of 12 of them would fall flat,” Obama joked to audible groans in the audience.
{mosads}The Patriots were previously were honored by former President George W. Bush after winning the Super Bowl in 2002, 2004 and 2005.
The team came close to meeting Obama in 2012, when they narrowly lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, 21-17.

Earlier this year, the White House suggested it was unimpressed with Brady’s performance in a press conference at the height of the Deflategate controversy, when the team was accused of deliberately under-inflating footballs to make them easier to catch.

“The one thing I can tell you is that for years, it’s been clear that there is no risk that I was going to take Tom Brady’s job as quarterback of the New England Patriots. But I can tell you that as of today, it’s pretty clear that there’s no risk of him taking my job either,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest quipped in January.

News of Brady skipping this year’s ceremony was first reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss and the Boston Herald.

 — This story was first posted at 11:56 a.m. and has been updated.

Tags Barack Obama New England Patriots NFL Tom Brady

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