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Second New England Patriot refuses to visit Trump White House

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New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty is joining tight end Marcellus Bennett in refusing to attend a Super Bowl celebration at the White House over opposition to President Trump.

“I’m not going to the White House,” McCourty told Time magazine. “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in 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.”

The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI on Sunday night, though no official presidential celebration has been announced.

Bennett told reporters shortly after New England’s historic overtime victory that he would not be visiting the Trump White House.

{mosads}The absences are notable, given the personal friendship between Trump and team owner Robert Kraft. Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are also known to be friends with the president.

Both Bennett and McCourty have been outspoken on political and criminal-justice issues throughout the season. Both raised their fist during the national anthem before a September game, an act sparked by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protests.

At the same time, the players are not the first to skip sports championship celebrations at the White House.

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and Baltimore Ravens lineman Matt Birk refused to attend ceremonies in 2011 and 2013, respectively, over opposition to former President Barack Obama’s policies.

Brady two years ago skipped a White House visit with Obama, citing a family obligation. 

The decision came after then-White House press secretary Josh Earnest made a joke about the so-called Deflategate scandal involving Brady. 

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