The New England Patriots are taking issue with a New York Times photo comparison that suggested a significantly smaller turnout for a Super Bowl celebration at the White House with President Donald Trump than one two years ago with President Barack Obama. The photo makes it clear there are more people in 2015 than on Wednesday. That is still down considerably from the estimated 50 players who visited Obama in 2015, but that too can be explained, at least in part, by the timing of the Super Bowl (cont. below). In the case of the picture taken during the visit with President Obama, the Patriots tweeted, more than 40 staff members are seen on the stairs.
Exactly half of the New England Patriots' Super Bowl-winning team did not attend its celebration at the White House, causing photographers to take notice of a diminished presence.
After weeks of players like Chris Long and Martellus Bennett saying they would skip this year's Washington victory lap because of President Donald Trump's politics, there appeared to be far less people around the presidential podium than in 2015 when the Pats last visited. "In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn", the team said on its Twitter account.
Of course, Trump himself also blasted the New York Times.
The Patriots also tweeted its official attendance numbers from Wednesday's event along with its visit in 2005.
Some players reportedly declined to attend the White House ceremony because they didn't want to be seen with Trump.
Tom Brady's cited "personal family matters" as the reason he was unable to join his teammates at the White House, by which he probably meant "Gisele will kill me if I go".
The delegation was made up of Patriots players as well as the organization's personnel.
"Patriots say (number) of players was smaller this year than 2015, but total delegation was roughly the same", the publication wrote.
That's when George W. Bush was president.