The Super Bowl champion Patriots visited the White House and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Thursday, but they did so without the player who was arguably the most important in getting them there.
Quarterback Tom Brady did not join his teammates to meet with President Obama due to what the Patriots said was a prior family commitment.
Thursday would have marked Brady’s fourth trip to the White House to be honored as a Super Bowl champion. The Patriots’ last trip came in 2005, when they were hosted by President George W. Bush for the third time in four years.
Some fans at Thursday night's Celtics/Cavaliers playoff game shared their thoughts on Brady's absence.
Several former Patriots players who have signed elsewhere, such as Darrelle Revis and Stevan Ridley, joined the team in Washington, while Vince Wilfork did not attend.
According to a report in the Boston Herald, Brady "has so few free days, he didn't want to use one."
There is also speculation that a previous comment by White House press secretary Josh Earnest may have contributed to Brady's decision to skip the Washington trip.
After Brady's less-than-polished presser defending himself on Deflategate, Earnest took a shot at Brady from the White House.
“For years it’s been clear that there is no risk that I was going to take Tom Brady’s job as quarterback of the New England Patriots,” Earnest said. “But I can tell you, as of today, it’s pretty clear that there’s no risk of him taking my job either.”
Additional reports indicated that Brady may have been on the west coast to celebrate his parent's 50th wedding anniversary, but Brady's parents were married on April 19, 1969, making this the 46th anniversary.
President Barack Obama made a quick mention of Brady's absence while speaking about the Patriots' Super Bowl victory on the south lawn.
"All game long, you saw what made this team special," Obama said. "There was, of course, Tom Brady. Although Tom Brady couldn’t be here with us today, he engineered a pair of surgical fourth-quarter touchdown drives."
Former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas certainly took a boatload of grief in Boston when he skipped the White House visit after the 2011 Stanley Cup championship. Thomas cited his views on government when explaining his decision.
Boston.com's Steve Silva contributed to this report.