Now that the New England Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl, all the players can go back to being human beings and not automatons marching to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s beat. That means being divided on whether or not visiting the White House, and President Trump, is something they want to do because of the president’s politics.

Already, six players have declined to visit: Devin McCourty, LeGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett, Chris Long, Alan Branch and Dont’a Hightower. What does leader and head ball thrower Brady think? Meh.

“Everybody has their own choice,” Brady said. “There’s certain years, like a couple years ago, I wanted to go and didn’t get the opportunity based on the schedule — we didn’t get told until 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.”

Fair enough.

“It really is a great experience…Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing. At least, it never was to me. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates. Everyone has their own choice. It’s an offseason. These days are valuable for everybody. You only get so much time with your family and friends, and if people don’t want to go they don’t want to go and that’s their choice.”

This dude’s a politician. Very smooth.

It’s not really a big deal according to Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

“Every time we’ve had the privilege of going to the White House, a dozen of our players don’t go,” Kraft said on TODAY Monday. “This is the first time it’s gotten any media attention.”

“Some of the players have the privilege of going in college because they’re on national championship teams, (and) others have family commitments,” he added.

Players like Hightower who says he’s “been there, done that.”

Plus, don’t forget, players pass on attending all the time. Even Michael Jordan skipped out one year when George H.W. Bush was president. Jordan won his championship in 1991 and said about the trip, “As you know, my schedules have been very hectic. You guys have seen me, I’ve been every which way and because I choose to take my private three days somewhere no one can call me — it’s my prerogative. How can I be disrespecting the president when I choose to spend time with my family?”

That’s exactly Brady’s line of reasoning. It’s a long season. Players spend so much time away from their families. If they want to spend it with their children, what’s the big deal?

[H/T Uproxx]

Related