Patriots call out New York Times over White House visit comparisons

President Donald Trump is presented with a New England Patriots jersey from Patriots owner Robert Kraft right and head coach Bill Belichick during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Wednesday

The New England Patriots did not have as many players attend Wednesday's White House ceremony as they did two years ago when they won the Super Bowl, but the team feels reports about how few members of the organization attended this year are being grossly exaggerated.

In photos posted to social media, the number of attendees at year's event seemed significantly lower than a similar event hosted by President Barack Obama in 2015.

Quarterback Tom Brady pulled out of attending at the last minute, citing "personal family matters".

Upon a quick glance, it looked like there were fewer people in the 2017 shot, but the Patriots quickly pointed out that the Times comparison lacked a key piece of information. "In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn", the team wrote in the reply.

Pictures of the New England Patriots and President Donald Trump together Wednesday are causing a stir online.

A New York Times sports editor took responsibility for the tweet on Thursday. Awful tweet. I wish I could say it's complicated, but no, this one is pretty straightforward: I'm an idiot. "I'm an idiot", sports editor Jason Stallman said in a statement issued to Yahoo's Colin Campbell. The photo comparison was also used in a story on the Times' website before being removed with a correction.

In the days following President Donald Trump's inauguration, much attention was paid to the ceremony's crowd size, after Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed it was the largest audience to witness an inauguration.

Though the White House has yet to comment on Wednesday's turnout at the event to honor the Super Bowl champions, The Boston Globe reported that just 34 players attended the event.

"You pulled off the greatest Super Bowl victory of all-time".

Roughly a half-dozen players had previously said they planned to skip this week's White House visit due to Trump's politics.

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