McCourty and Bennett earlier this week cited political differences with Trump as the reason for their snub. But other Patriots have different reasons.
Hightower, who also skipped the visit in 2014, told ESPN’s Mike Reiss that he’s “Been there, done that.”
Long slammed a journalist who called on him to boycott the visit, tweeting that he “planned on skipping,” but “hadn’t been asked.”
“Don’t need an open letter explaining my own words to me. Not *joining* anyone. My call,” he continued.
CNN has reached out to the Patriots’ representatives and the White House for comment and has not yet received a response.
Patriots running back James White suggested that he might skip the visit as well, but has not made up his mind.
CNN Sports Correspondent Coy Wire predicted that “there will be more,” including players from college football, who will decline an invitation from the White House “because they’re watching their peers.”
Wire said that during this turbulent political time, “coaches within locker rooms need to make sure that everyone respects and understands the differences” to maintain positive team dynamics.
Trump announced a day before the general election that Brady and the team’s head coach, Bill Belichick, are supporting his campaign for president.
But the football star’s wife, model Gisele Bundchen, bluntly denied those reports in a social media exchange.
Following Trump’s win, however, the President said Brady and Patriots owner Robert Kraft called to congratulate him.
While he did not deny it, Brady played down the claim during an interview, saying, “I call a lot of people.”