Tom Brady calls visiting the White House a “great experience,” but he is encouraging his fellow New England Patriots to make “their own choice” about a meet-and-greet with President Trump.
“Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing,” the quarterback and five-time Super Bowl champion said of his multiple trips to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. “At least, it never was to me. It was something that was a privilege to do. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates.”
Last week, defensive lineman Alan Branch became the sixth Patriot to announce he’ll be skipping the traditional visit to Trump’s White House. While Branch didn’t specifically cite Trump in his decision not to attend, other teammates have said their choice to back out of the trip was a form of protest against the commander in chief.
Trump has called Brady a “friend,” and the four-time Super Bowl MVP has reciprocated, dubbing the then-real estate mogul a “good friend” in a 2015 interview.
Brady didn’t attend a 2015 visit to the White House with then-President Obama to celebrate his team’s win that year.
“There are certain years, like a couple years ago, I wanted to go, and then didn’t get the opportunity based on the schedule. We didn’t get told I think like 10 days before we were going and at that point I had something I’d been planning for months and couldn’t get there.”
Brady, 39, did attend a celebration with former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonFederal judge changes his mind about stepping down, eliminating vacancy for Biden to fill Joe Biden's gamble with history Can America prevent a global warming cold war? MORE at the White House while in college in 1997 after the Michigan Wolverines won the national championship.
“It’s an off-season, and these days are valuable for everybody,” Brady said Tuesday. “You only get so much time with your family and friends. If people don’t want to go, they don’t want to go, and that’s their choice.”