Supporters of Donald Trump erupted in fury after New England Patriot Martellus Bennett declined to make a post-Super Bowl victory visit to the White House.
At a post-game press conference Sunday, Feb. 5, the tight end reiterated his earlier plan not to meet with the president because he doesn’t “support the guy that’s in the house.”
When Trump advocates heard Bennett’s plan, they lashed out and called him “disrespectful” among other things.
Bennett said he thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”
TEAM is polite. BENNETT is disrespectful #MAGAhttps://t.co/5z2yECJpdc
— Deborah ❌ #ADOS🇺🇸 (@dacw10) February 6, 2017
@HuffingtonPost Marrellus Bennett needs to put his political opinion to one side and do the honorable things and respect the tradition.
— James Lee ?? (@JimmyLondon75) February 6, 2017
@RawStory @conorkayy So Racist & ignorant. Shouldnt we be protesting all the inner city deaths instead. BlackOnBlackCrime. KillingEachOther.
— ItsTrue (@IwantToWallop) February 7, 2017
@people If this is true, he is being childish. He is part of a team and as they say, there is no “I” in team. It’s not about politics.
— Teresa Hicks (@TeresasHicks) February 6, 2017
The hate didn’t stop on Twitter. Pro-Trump responders took their feelings to Facebook and comment sections, too.
Many who backed Bennett’s decision pointed out the hypocritical responses from those bashing him for doing what Tom Brady did when the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX.
Brady, whom white nationalist Richard Spencer hailed as the “Aryan Avatar,” declined to visit Obama at the White House on April 23, 2015. The star quarterback excused himself by saying he had a previously planned “family commitment,” but ESPN reported he spent the day working out at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and he was also photographed viewing Apple Watches at the New York City Apple Store.
What is the difference between what #martellusbennett is doing and what #tombrady did??… I'll wait #hypocrisy
— Expatty Mayonnaise (@expattymayo) February 7, 2017
For people calling Martellus Bennett disrespectful for not wanting to visit the White House…
Where's Brady? pic.twitter.com/5UVNzT9Lz9
— Chip on three (@Jahthegawd) February 6, 2017
wonder how many of these people bashing Martellus Bennett for not planning to visit the white house bashed Brady when he didn't attend
— AC (@A_C_105) February 7, 2017
Others praised Bennett for sticking to his beliefs.
@MartysaurusRex Martellus Bennett, you have freedom of choice not to validate a racist and bigot so called president. Good move!
— lucia diaz (@luciadiazm) February 7, 2017
Good for you, @MartysaurusRex. Principles are important, esp now when being a sycophant is the only way to succeed in DC. @MadelinePBerg
— Jennifer Jensen (@itwasverydark) February 7, 2017
Bennett seemed to feel unbothered by the negative reaction. He tweeted a couple of humorous and uplifting posts Feb. 6 and 7.