Chris Long Explains Why He’s Skipping Patriots’ White House Visit

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Chris Long announced Thursday on Twitter he won’t attend the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl LI celebration at the White House. On Friday, he explained why.

The veteran defensive end shared his reasoning for opting out of the visit during an interview with Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast.

“I’m just not doing it,” Long said. “I’ve got plenty of serious political reasons that probably don’t belong on this show, but I’m just not doing it. America’s an awesome country, man. Everybody knows that. That’s why I have this choice.”

Long said the reaction to his announcement — which came in response to an open letter by New York Daily News columnist Chuck Modiano — has been mixed.

“I heard everything from ‘Great job’ (to) condescending ‘great jobs’ — like, ‘Oh, I’m surprised that you’re smart’ — to ‘Hey, you shook my dad’s hand on Veterans Day and thanked him for his service. I wish you hadn’t done that,’ ” Long said on the podcast. “… I was like, ‘Dude, did you not hear Donald Trump talking about John McCain and POWs?’ ”

As of Friday afternoon, six Patriots players had announced they wouldn’t visit the White House: Long, tight end Martellus Bennett, safety Devin McCourty, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, running back LeGarrette Blount and defensive tackle Alan Branch. Running back James White said he’s considering skipping the trip, as well.

“If you really just hash it out and think in a little bit of nuance, I think you’ll understand why (I’m not going),” Long said on the podcast

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

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