Six Patriots players and counting have declared that they’ll be skipping the annual White House trip for Super Bowl champions. One future Hall of Famer who never had a chance to play for the right to visit the President believes that all players should go.
“If they don’t want to go, that’s their right,” former Chiefs and Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez told TMZ. “For me, I think that’s silly.”
“If you’ve got a problem, go there and meet him. Say something. That’s your opportunity to get your voice out there. To get heard. . . . Tell him what’s on your mind. Maybe he’ll listen. Probably not, but maybe he’ll listen.”
Still, for some players the strongest statement that can be made is to not go. If the players were to privately communicate a message to the President during the visit, it could easily get lost in the shuffle. By making it clear that they’re not going to the White House, the rest of the country hears their concerns loudly and clearly.
As Gonzalez noted, it’s each player’s right to decide whether to go. For at least six Patriots players, the decision already has been made.