Attendance at the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl LI White House ceremony was set to be the biggest storyline of the day. In the end, it was almost a non-story because attendance was split down the middle. The final tally: 34 Patriots players were present while 36 players did not attend.
Among those 36 players who didn’t attend, only 21 were on the Patriots’ 53-man roster, while 15 were on the practice squad and injured reserve.
Rookie Malcolm Mitchell was among the 34 players to make the trip.
“I’ve never been to the White House,” Mitchell said on the White House lawn after being honored. “This is my first opportunity to have that. So, for me personally, I wanted to visit.”
It turned out to be a good decision for Mitchell because he received a personal shout-out from President Donald Trump.
“Brought me to tears,” Mitchell said. “As a child growing up I would have never thought a president would have said my name by any means. But it’s just a representation of the hard work the team put in. I’m just lucky enough to be a part of it.”
Mitchell caught six passes for 70 yards in Super Bowl LI.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images