|Susan Walsh | AP|
It takes a lot of supporting staff to help run a professional football organization. And when the team you work for wins, you get the perks, too.
The New England Patriots team members, coaches and supporting staff visited President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday. After the event, photos circulated online comparing the Patriots’ 2015 visit with President Obama to this year’s visit with Trump.
Patriots' turnout for President Obama in 2015 vs. Patriots' turnout for President Trump today: https://t.co/OxMEOqZonI pic.twitter.com/pLmJWhOw1j— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 19, 2017
The Patriots responded to The New York Times by saying the photos ‘lack context’ and that the supporting personnel were seated on the lawn this year.
These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn. https://t.co/iIYtV0hR6Y— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 20, 2017
Earlier Wednesday night, the team tweeted a photo with a much larger crowd around the President.
Thanks @realDonaldTrump & @WhiteHouse for the gracious hospitality today honoring the Super Bowl Champion New England #Patriots! pic.twitter.com/7AU8XsA5Xk— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 20, 2017
Thirty-four players visited the President during this visit, but the Patriots claim that the delegation was roughly the same. According to Boston.com, only 27 Patriots attended the Super Bowl champions’ annual visit in 2005, while 36 showed up in 2004. After the team’s first championship, the White House event drew “50-plus” players.
An avid Trump supporter and longtime friend was, however, absent from the visit. Quarterback Tom Brady canceled last minute for “personal family matters.”
Follow Megan on Twitter: @carnahanmegan