Each year, the winning Super Bowl team traditionally travels to the White House to meet to the president and celebrate their victory, but this time around, one member of the reigning Super Bowl champions says he won't be making the trip, CNN reported.
New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett was asked during a post-game interview Sunday if he would pay a visit to President Donald Trump to celebrate his team's overtime win in Super Bowl LI.
"I haven't thought about it," Bennett told reporters. "I am not going to go."
"I can elaborate later on in life; right now I am just trying to enjoy this," Bennett said, adding that he's "not worried" about what Patriots owner Robert Kraft might think of his decision not to go. Kraft and Trump have been friends for two decades, Fox News reported.
Bennett has used social media in the past to show his support for Black Lives Matter, a movement about which Trump has been extremely critical.
Trump suggested to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in July that Black Lives Matter protesters have played a role in the wave of police officer killings.
"They certainly have ignited people and you see that. ... It's a very, very serious situation and we just can't let it happen," Trump said just about a week after the Dallas shootings that killed five officers, CNN reported.
During a separate interview with O'Reilly in September, Trump said Black Lives Matter protesters were "just looking for trouble," the Hill reported.
Bennett was also critical of entertainer Kanye West for his visit to Trump Tower, where the two met to discuss "multicultural issues," during the presidential transition.
And before one game in Sept. 2016, Bennett was photographed raising his fist during the national anthem, an apparent show of support of the Black Panthers' black power movement from the 1960s and '70s.
Bennett's form of protest was reminiscent of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem. Trump was also critical of Kaepernick's action, even suggesting to Washington State radio host Dori Monson on KIRO-FM in August that maybe Kaepernick "should find a country that works better for him."
Here are Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty raising their fists for the National Anthem. Patriots, both. https://t.co/rDilAEaCUj— robertklemko (@robertklemko)1473640593.0
Bennett's response Sunday mirrored a comment he made last week when he asked if he would participate in the celebratory visit to the White House if his team won, according to Raw Story.
“I don’t know. I’ve got to win the Super Bowl first, but most likely no.” Bennett told reporters at the time.
“I don’t support the guy that’s in the house," Bennett added.
Bennett's teammate, Patriots quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, has fielded questions for more than a year over whether he supports Trump. In September 2015, a reporter snapped a picture of a "Make America Great Again" hat inside Brady's locker.
But when one Instagram user asked Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen, if the couple supported Trump, Bundchen responded with a very blunt "NO!"
Brady told a local Boston radio station last month that he's known the president for 16 years.
“He’s been very supportive of me for a long time. It’s just a friendship for — I got a lot of friends so I call a lot of people," Brady told WEEI-FM.
But Bennett insisted Sunday that he and his teammates never talk politics among themselves.
"You just don't bring that to work. We all have our beliefs. We accept people for who they are," Bennett said, according to CNN.