New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did not attend the ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, citing "personal family matters" as the reason for his absence.
Several players are not in Washington, D.C., with the Patriots to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. Many cited political and social causes as the reason they did not join teammates in the customary celebration.
Brady was not with the Patriots on their previous visit to the White House. "I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House (Wednesday)," Brady said in a statement.
"Our team has accomplished something very special that we are all proud of and will be for years to come. Thank you to the President for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember. In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend (the) ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters. Hopefully if we accomplish the goal of winning a championship in the future years, we will be back on the South Lawn again soon. Have a great day!"
In February, Brady said players who opt to skip the ceremony are missing out on a "great experience."
Brady has called President Donald Trump a friend and last season a hat with "Make America Great Again," Trump's campaign slogan, was spotted in his locker.
Brady's mother, Galynn, was undergoing chemotherapy during the Patriots' run to Super Bowl LI but made it to Houston to be with the family. It was the first time during the 2016 season and playoffs she attended a game in person. It is unclear whether Galynn's health led to Brady's absence Wednesday.
Defensive back Devin McCourty said he wouldn't attend because he doesn't feel welcome at the White House.