At Least 4 Patriots Players Plan to Skip Expected White House Visit

"I don't support the guy in the house," one player said.

February 09, 2017, 4:21 PM

— -- At least four players from the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots have said they would decline an expected invitation to the White House to celebrate their victory -- including two who have given President Donald Trump as the reason.

Though such a visit has not yet been scheduled, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Tuesday that the president "is looking forward very much to welcoming the New England Patriots to the White House to celebrate their fifth world championship. It was obviously a spectacular game."

Here are four Patriots players who have already spoken out and said they would skip a visit to the White House.

Chris Long

PHOTO: New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long during Super Bowl LI Opening Night at Minute Maid Park, Jan. 30. 2017, in Houston
New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long during Super Bowl LI Opening Night at Minute Maid Park, Jan. 30. 2017, in Houston.
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Chris Long, a defensive end for the team, tweeted today, "Planned on skipping," in response to an open letter in the New York Daily News asking him not to go to the White House.

In addition to noting he already had intended to skip the visit, Long wrote on Twitter he just "hadn't been asked" about the visit.

An agent for Long confirmed to ABC News today that Long would not be visiting the White House, but declined to provide additional comment.

Dont’a Hightower

PHOTO: New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower during a press conference ahead of Super Bowl LI, Feb. 1, 2017, in Houston.
New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower during a press conference ahead of Super Bowl LI, Feb. 1, 2017, in Houston.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower told ESPN's "SportsCenter" Wednesday that he would not go to the White House, but noted that it was not because of anything specific to the president, according to a tweet from ESPN reporter Mike Reiss.

"Been there, done that," Hightower said, according to Reiss.

Hightower explained that he had already visited the White House as a member of the University of Alabama's football team, Crimson Tide, back when Barack Obama was president. He also noted that he did not join the Patriots to visit the White House when they won the Super Bowl in 2015.

An agent for Hightower confirmed to ABC News that he would not visit the White House but did not provide additional comment.

Devin McCourty

PHOTO: New England Patriots Devin McCourty answers questions during Super Bowl LI media availability, Feb. 2, 2017, in Houston.
New England Patriots Devin McCourty answers questions during Super Bowl LI media availability, Feb. 2, 2017, in Houston.
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Devin McCourty, a defensive back for the Patriots, told TIME on Monday that he was not going to the White House.

"Basic reason for me is I don't feel accepted in the White House," McCourty told TIME in a text message. "With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others don't."

He added that he believed the decision is a personal choice, and "I can't imagine a way I go there," TIME reported.

An agent for McCourty confirmed to ABC News today that he would not be going to the White House but declined to provide additional comment.

Martellus Bennett

PHOTO: New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett speaks with reporters in the team's locker room following practice, Jan. 19, 2017, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett speaks with reporters in the team's locker room following practice, Jan. 19, 2017, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Steven Senne/AP

After the big game on Sunday, Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett told reporters he was not going to go to the White House.

"I'm not going to go, nah," Bennett said. "It is what it is. People know how I feel about it."

Prior to the game Bennett told reporters at a media availability that he would not visit the White House even if the Patriots did win because "I don't support the guy in the house," the Dallas Morning News reported.

An agent for Bennett did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for additional comment.

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