BOSTON -- Next week the 2016 Patriots will be the first championship team, college or pro, to visit Donald Trump's White House. The number of players and coaches who make the trip will be sure to make headlines, but there are already a handful of players who've acknowledged they won't be there because of the man who occupies the Oval Office.
Devin McCourty, LeGarrette Blount and Martellus Bennett have all been open about their intentions to skip the annual Super Bowl champions photo op on the White House lawn, and McCourty explained his decision during the Play it Forward summit at Boston University where he took part in a wide-ranging discussion on race and gender in sports with host Andrea Kremer, CSN's Brian Scalabrine, Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski and Boston Bruins Foundation executive director Bob Sweeney.
After the conference, McCourty joined Quick Slants the Podcast to delve a little further into why he's decided to stay home when his team heads to the nation's capital. It has to do with the fact that about a month ago he and his wife had their first child, a daughter, Londyn.
"I heard Chris Long say," McCourty said, "he has a son who's I think a year now, [and] he didn't want his son to grow up and hear the different things from the administration and say, 'Dad, that's not what you teach me. That's not what you taught me. Why did you go if you knew that was wrong?'
"When I heard that, I was like, 'You know, that makes a lot of sense.' Obviously I had already had personal opinions about it, but you start to think about your kids, or your kid, and them growing up and what they'll view as right or wrong is dictated through what you view as right or wrong and what you teach them. I think it'll be a great thing when my daughter will be able to look back and say, 'My father had a chance to do what's right or do what's wrong, and he did what he felt was right no matter what anybody else felt, what people thought was popular to do at the time. He did what he thought was right.' I think that's huge.
"Obviously right now it's a huge deal. I don't think it necessarily needs to be celebrated. I think you just do what's right for you. That's what makes you who you are. I respect guys who are going or not going. People have different opinions. What's right for me or wrong for me may be different for somebody else. We're not talking about death or something or killing someone. I think this is just a matter of opinions and what your different beliefs are."
You can listen to the full Quick Slants the Podcast interview with McCourty here.