While New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and star quarterback Tom Brady have all supported Donald Trump and call him friend, that doesn’t mean the rest of the team, which does have a wealth of Black men on it, necessarily feel the same way.
In particular, tight end Martellus Bennett has been outspoken in his criticism of Trump. Bennett is a Black Lives Matter supporter who at the beginning of the season, stood in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick by raising his fist during the national anthem (alongside teammate Devin McCourty). He also called out Kanye West for not voting and then meeting with Trump.
Following the Patriots’ monumental comeback at Super Bowl LI, it wasn’t too long into the post-game celebration when someone asked Bennett if he would take part in a possible visit to the White House to celebrate the win. The team, for the aforementioned reasons, was Trump’s team of choice to win the Super Bowl. Sports teams who win championships usually visit the White House months after to be honored for their victory. President Obama celebrated with the team in 2015. However, Bennett told reporters that he doesn’t plan on going and isn’t too worried about how Kraft, Belichick or Brady might feel about that.
“I haven’t thought about it. I am not going to go,” Bennett said, according to CNN. “I can elaborate later on in life; right now I am just trying to enjoy this … People know how I feel about it, just follow me on Twitter.”
Bennett said that as for what his teammates choose to do and who they support, that’s their business.
“You just don’t bring that to work,” he said. “We all have our beliefs. We accept people for who they are.”
But Bennett does not accept Trump. In response to news of the travel ban in January, Bennett said this on Twitter:
And his stance on giving a visit to Trump’s White House a hard pass following his team’s Super Bowl win is in line with his response to questions initially received about the idea during media day last Monday. As Bennett said then, “I don’t support the guy that’s in the house.”