Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will not attend the team's Super Bowl victory celebration at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement released to reporters, Brady stated he was attending to "personal family matters."
Though Brady and President Donald Trump are friends and occasional golfing partners, the New England quarterback has been quiet on his personal political views. Brady did have a "Make America Great Again" cap in his locker at points during the 2016 season, though he never formally endorsed Trump and declined to say whether he would vote for Trump.
In an interview with Bill O'Reilly that aired before the Super Bowl in February, Trump said that "you have to stick up for your friends, right? ... I like (Patriots owner) Bob Kraft. I like Coach (Bill) Belichick. And Tom Brady is my friend.”
Five other Patriots players have said they will skip the trip for political reasons: Devin McCourty, LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch, Chris Long and Martellus Bennett. Dont'a Hightower also won't attend, though he hasn't cited Trump as the reason for his absence. Hightower also skipped the White House ceremony in 2014 when Barack Obama was president.
More on this on it develops.
Tom Brady is not attending White House ceremony today due to "personal family matters." His statement: pic.twitter.com/OIidVZX3VV
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 19, 2017
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.