By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady has not attended his team’s celebratory trip to the White House since his third Super Bowl title, way back in 2005. He’s apparently returning to D.C., though, to celebrate No. 7.
According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Brady is expected to be in attendance when the Buccaneers are honored by President Joe Biden on Tuesday. That news, however, comes with a caveat of “stay tuned.”
My information is that yes, Tom Brady will attend. Stay tuned. https://t.co/wpflN4anMG
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) July 19, 2021
The traditional honor of championship teams being celebrated at the White House by the president took a break in recent years, as the intersection of the sports world and former President Donald Trump often led to more controversy than celebration.
Brady himself has been involved in that, too. He skipped the Patriots’ visit after they beat the Seahawks in 2015. Barack Obama’s press secretary Josh Earnest had previously taken a dig at Brady during the peak of national DeflateGate hysteria.
Two years later, after Brady led the Patriots back from a 28-3 deficit over the Falcons, he likewise skipped that Patriots team visit to the White House. Brady cited family reasons for that absence, and Trump was reportedly angered by Brady’s decision to not attend. Trump did not mention the name of Brady — the Super Bowl MVP — when speaking about the team during their visit. Brady later revealed that he spent time with his mother, who had spent the previous season battling breast cancer.
The Patriots never made a visit to the White House after beating the Rams in 2019, as the practice had largely stopped in professional sports leagues.
In between Patriots Super Bowl wins, the Philadelphia Eagles were invited and then uninvited to the White House by Trump, who disagreed with player protests. The Super Bowl champion in 2020 — the Kansas City Chiefs — didn’t have the option of visiting the White House, as the country dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.
An NBA championship team hasn’t visited the White House since 2016. In the NHL, the Washington Capitals visited Trump in 2018 and the St. Louis Blues visited in 2019, but the Lightning didn’t have the option last year, during the pandemic.
In Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers visited Biden this year. The Nationals (2019) and Red Sox (2018) visited Trump as well. Red Sox manager Alex Cora — along with Mookie Betts and David Price — skipped that visit to the White House.
As for this trip, Greg Auman of The Athletic noted that it coincides with Gisele Bundchen’s birthday.
Tom Brady went with the Patriots on first three White House visits 2002-05, but hasn't attended any since. Didn't go in 2015 (Obama) or 2017 (Trump) and team didn't visit in 2019. Worth noting that Tuesday's visit for Bucs coincides with his wife Gisele's birthday.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) July 19, 2021
Brady, who will turn 44 years old in August, is coming off a Super Bowl MVP performance, after he threw for a tidy 201 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in the Bucs’ 31-9 rout of the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
Obviously, anything Brady does or does not do becomes a major national story line. So his absence or presence on Tuesday in D.C. will certainly follow along with that societal mandate.