HOUSTON — Teams that win championships in the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA usually get an invite from the White House, but Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett won’t be there if the team visits newly inaugurated President Donald Trump.
Bennett told reporters after Sunday night’s 34-28 overtime win against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI that he won’t attend a ceremony set to be held later this year.
“I haven’t thought about it. I am not going to go,” Bennett said. “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 he is “not really worried” over any potential fallout associated with him boycotting a visit to the White House. Patriots owner Robert Kraft has expressed support for Trump, although he declined to comment on any of Trump’s policies during Super Bowl week. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has acknowledged he is friends with Trump and once had a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap in his locker at Gillette Stadium. And Patriots coach Bill Belichick wrote a letter to Trump shortly before the Nov. 8 election congratulating him on running a fine campaign.
Bennett, who will be a free agent next month, said he and his teammates generally avoid talking about politics in the locker room.
“You just don’t bring that to work,” he said. “We all have our beliefs. We accept people for who they are.”
Bennett has expressed solidarity with the “Black Lives Matter” movement and has criticized entertainer Kanye West for meeting with Trump in December.
“So Kanye didn’t take the time to vote,” Bennett tweeted. “And now he holding on to Trump’s coattail like Peter Pettigrew to Lord Voldemort. Kanye Pettigrew.”
Bennett also joined with teammate Devin McCourty in raising a fist during the playing of the national anthem at Gillette Stadium in a September game.
Trump congratulated the Patriots in a tweet shortly after Sunday’s win.
“What an amazing comeback and win by the Patriots,” he tweeted. “Tom Brady, Bob Kraft and Coach B are total winners. Wow!”