Super Bowl LI – New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and New England Patriots running back LaGarrette Blount (29) celebrate during the post-game ceremony for Super Bowl LI after they defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Anthony Behar/Sipa USA/TNS)

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Super Bowl LI champions, the New England Patriots. A lot of people seem to have an issue with the fact that several African-American players do not want to go to the White House because they don’t feel welcomed. Tight End Martellus Bennet tweeted before the Super Bowl game that “America was built on inclusiveness not exclusiveness.” Defensive back Devin McCourty stated “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices, I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”  Running back LaGarrette Blount stated in an interview on the “Rich Eisen Show” last Thursday “I don’t feel welcome in that house. I’ll leave it at that.”

Some people feel out of respect and tradition the Patriot players need to go to the White House. However, I think these same people forget Quarterback Tom Brady skipped out on going to the White House during the Obama presidency and no one made a fuss about it. On his show “Undisputed,” sports commentator Skip Bayless spoke with Rapper Nelly on the topic. Bayless felt the team should have taken a vote on whether or not the players should go to the White House or not. Nelly quickly chimed in stating “You didn’t make the vote when Tom Brady — when the head of your team decided that he wasn’t going to come…if he’s not going, he’s the captain,” Nelly said. “He’s the head. He already decided. He opened this box up. Tom Brady started this. He started it. Let’s just get it out of the bag and I’m not faulting him because I love Tom Brady, but he started it.”

Nelly also talked about how it wasn’t a part of the players’ job description to go to the White House. Speaking from the perspective of a player, Nelly said that “Going to the White House, I don’t get paid for. Going to the White House is not in my contract. I’m done. I did my job. How you look after the football season, that’s on you because you chose to go that way. As an owner, you chose to come out and say — you didn’t ask me. We didn’t make a team vote when you said, ‘I support this man.’ Tom Brady didn’t — we didn’t have a team vote when you were blatantly showing that you were supporting Trump.”

I agree with Nelly; why is it only now we have to make a vote on whether or not players have to go to the White House when they didn’t take one last year when Brady decided he wasn’t going to the White House. I have always noticed that reactions are a lot different when one a person of color does something that a non-Hispanic white person does. When people disrespected Obama during his terms it was fine, but now that these players are doing with Trump now it’s an issue. Trump is big on freedom of speech, as we see in all of his responses about anything, so he shouldn’t have a problem with these men exercising the same right and neither should anyone else. Like Nelly said, Tom Brady started this.

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