The two were friendly for years, long before Trump entered national politics, as well as periodic golf partners. The former president also has a relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and longtime head coach Bill Belichick, although the latter rejected Trump’s offer of the Presidential Medal of Freedom following the insurrection of January 6.
Brady, who won seven Super Bowls in his 20-year career, refused to join his Patriot teammates when they visited the White House in 2017. At the time, he cited “personal family matters” for the decision, which would have angered Trump.
Brady also skipped a visit to the White House during Barack Obama’s presidency for a similar reason.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only Democrat to hold an elected office statewide is on the march to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis, posted a photo on Twitter of herself in the White House alongside Brady.
Although a number of championship-winning athletes declined White House invitations, usually due to political differences with the incumbent president, the token event turned into political football during Trump’s tenure.
Trump has waged a protracted campaign against professional football players and others who knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice, going so far as to unsent the Philadelphia Eagles less than one day before their planned arrival in 2018.
He also banned NBA star Stephen Curry and his Golden State Warriors teammates after Curry signaled he would not be attending the championship ceremony. The Warriors have always been to Washington, DC, in early 2018 and instead visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture.