Patriots to attend White House ceremony on April 19

Several players said they would skip meeting with President Trump

President Barack Obama holds a New England Patriots team jersey, flanked by New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, left, and team owner Robert Kraft, right, as he welcomed the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, Thursday, April 23, 2015, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, to honor the team and their Super Bowl XLIX victory. (Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (WWLP) – The New England Patriots will be making a White House visit next month. The Super Bowl champions will be honored by President Donald Trump during a ceremony scheduled for April 19, reports.

The president has maintained personal friendships with three of the major figures of the Patriots organization: owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady. Trump even went so far as to tweet his support for Brady during the “Deflategate” saga.

Despite the Patriots-Trump connection, however, it is likely that at least some of the world championship team will not be heading to Washington. Tight end Matellus Bennett, defensive end Chris Long, defensive back Devin McCourty, and linebacker Dont’a Hightower are among the players who said they would not participate in a White House ceremony, and more could follow.

The Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in a stunning comeback win in Super Bowl LI.

The April 19 meeting be the first time that President Trump has hosted a Super Bowl championship team, but it will not be a first for the Pats. They have gone to the White House four other times to be greeted by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama for their previous wins.