Patriots hit back at New York Times over White House tweet

VIDEO: Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski Crashes White House Press Briefing

The White House celebrations were overshadowed by the suicide of the Patriots former star Aaron Hernandez, who hanged himself on Wednesday in a prison cell where he was serving a life sentence for murder, prison officials said.

"No team has been this good for this long", Trump said during the ceremony on Wednesday.

Brady previously said he wouldnot be attendingthe traditional meeting between the president and the reigning Super Bowl champions for "personal family matters".

According to Jeff How of The Boston Herald, the "family matters" Tom Brady mentioned is his mother, Galynn, who is battling cancer since past year. Brady reportedly opted to stay home to spend with with his mother.

The announcement that Brady was not attending the event broke early Wednesday, and it definitely stirred up some surprise, considering the future Hall of Fame quarterback made headlines for his alleged support for Trump during the 2016 presidential race.

After the victory in February, tight end Martellus Bennett quickly made it clear he was not coming to the White House, and other teammates followed. The team has not officially commented on this development.

But the turnout for Trump's congratulatory event on Wednesday was roughly the same size as when the Pats visited the White House following back-to-back titles in 2004-05, the spokesman said. Should politics be put aside for a White House honoring of a sports team?

President Trump was given a No. 45 Patriots jersey by team owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick.

"Need some help?" may be the most accurate thing anyone could ask Press Secretary Sean Spicer right now.

They have played golf together several times, and the football player had a "Make America Great Again" hat in his locker in September of 2015.

A handful of other Patriots players had already opted out of the trip, some citing political differences with Trump.

"As a kid, you read about history, read about the White House, to actually go in and experience firsthand is something I hope everyone gets the opportunity to do", Mitchell said.

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