BOSTON (CBS) — Alan Branch won’t be done celebrating the Patriots’ Super Bowl comeback win anytime soon. And like any pro athlete with a family to take care of, he’s looking forward to spending more time with them in the offseason.
Family will be the focus for Branch when the Patriots make their visit to the White House. The defensive tackle told radio host Alex Marvez on Thursday that he intends to skip the team’s trip to Washington D.C. in order to spend more time with his wife and four children.
“I’m just going to hang out with the family and continue celebrating until the next season starts,” said Branch, according to Marvez’s column in The Sporting News.
Branch joins a growing list of Patriots who won’t attend the team’s White House visit, who all cited various reasons. Tight end Martellus Bennett expressed disapproval of the Donald Trump administration, while safety Devin McCourty and running back LeGarrette Blount said they would not feel accepted in the White House.
Bennett, McCourty and Blount are the only ones who admitted to taking a political stance. Defensive end Chris Long plans on skipping the trip, but didn’t offer a specific reason. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower, meanwhile, said he’s “been there, done that” and said his absence won’t be related to the president.
Branch visited former President Barack Obama at the White House with the Patriots two years ago after their Super Bowl XLIX win. If he is harboring any kind of negative feelings toward President Donald Trump or his administration, he is keeping those feelings private.
Dont’a Hightower’s strip sack on Matt Ryan was the Patriots’ biggest defensive play of Super Bowl LI, but Branch also deserves credit for recovering the ensuing fumble, which put the Patriots in great position to cut the Falcons’ lead to a one-score game at the time.