— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) February 8, 2017
After a group of New England Patriots decided not to visit the White House, Nelly blamed quarterback Tom Brady for creating a team culture where players could skip the White House after their recent Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons.
During the Wednesday, Feb. 8, telecast of Fox Sports One’s “Undisputed,” the St. Louis rapper said Brady is inadvertently responsible for the growing number of Patriots players who will not go to President Donald Trump’s White House.
“I love Tom Brady and I’m not faulting his decision to skip the Obama White House visit. But, he opened this box,” Nelly opines. “As a player, that’s not on me to go to the White House. I did my job. Going to the White House, I don’t get paid for. I’m done, I did my job.”
In 2015, Brady decided not to visit the White House near the end of former President Barack Obama’s presidency. The now 5-time Super Bowl champion claimed he had a prescheduled “family commitment,” however he was spotted working out at the stadium and later, shopping for watches at an Apple store.
As of this report, five Patriots have announced plans to skip the ceremonial visit. The most vocal has been tight end Martellus Bennett, who cited political differences.
When asked in a press conference immediately following the Patriots’ historic win, Bennett told reporters he was not concerned about possible backlash from owner Robert Kraft. “I’m not really worried about that,” he said with a laugh. “I’m not worried about it at all. It’s still my belief, I think they believe in … whatever I wanna do, I think they believe in that, so I ain’t really worried about that.”
Devin McCourty, Dontá Hightower, LeGarette Blount and Chris Long have followed suit, saying they will not attend because of political reasons.