"Never before have we had players being asked, 'Are you going to the White House?'".
During the White House ceremony, Trump praised individual players and their overall performance at the Super Bowl, saying that "everybody played a role and everybody played as champions". Brady did not elaborate on the family issue. It was reported during the week before the Super Bowl that his mother had been battling illness, which was later revealed to be cancer, for at least 18 months.
It said, "I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today".
Several Patriots players had said beforehand that they would not show for political reasons. Quarterback Tom Brady, who was previously spoken about his relationship with Trump was not in attendance on Wednesday.
"I think I got this, but thank you", replies the press secretary, who is from Rhode Island and is reportedly a fan of the New England football team. "In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn". That list of players include Devin McCourty, LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch, Dont'a Hightower, Chris Long and Martellus Bennett.
The visit occurred the same day former player Aaron Hernandez was found dead inside his MA prison cell. Right after the election, he muzzled himself about politics for what he obliquely called "a good decision ... made for our family".
Reward increased in manhunt for Wisconsin man
Police were later called to reports of a auto fire shortly after the burglary and discovered the vehicle belonged to the suspect. The FBI also announced it was increasing the reward for information on Jakubowski's whereabouts from $10,000 to $20,000.
The 27-year-old Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 shooting death of a friend.
Jurors in the double-murder trial of ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez have begun their sixth day of deliberations.
A team spokesman says the Patriots are aware of the reports of Hernandez's death but the club isn't expected to comment. "With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won't".
New England Patriots CEO Robert Kraft awarded President Donald Trump with a helmet and jersey bearing the president's name.