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Fact check: No indication Tom Brady will accept — or snub — White House visit

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The claim: NFL star Tom Brady said he will not attend White House Super Bowl visit

The claims appeared in Facebook posts after NFL star quarterback Tom Brady won the MVP award in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl LV victory on Feb. 7.

One post read: "Tom Brady turned down invite to the 'White House' say's the TEAM is going to MAR-A-LAGO!"

Another stated: "Tom Brady refuse to go to the White House I just became a Bucs fan I salute you Tom Brady."

USA TODAY has reached out to those social media users for comment.

More: Tom Brady took a Super Bowl 55 victory lap on Twitter with a montage of bad takes

Tom Brady (Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback) and Gisele Bundchen (model).
Tom Brady (Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback) and Gisele Bundchen (model).

Brady's support of Trump

The context for the Facebook posts is a years-long focus on Brady and former President Donald Trump.

Brady had voiced some support for Trump and a "Make America Great Again" hat was spotted in Brady's locker during the 2015 season. The two men also have long shared a passion for golf, and it's been joked that Trump enjoys beating the all-time great NFL player on the links.

On Twitter, ex-NFL player and current sports commentator Shannon Sharpe criticized Brady's support of Trump, asking, for example, whether it would be equally acceptable if NBA star LeBron James would verbally embrace Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.

The topic of Brady's support for Trump came up during Super Bowl LV week when USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour asked the Buccaneers quarterback about it. Brady dodged the question saying: "I hope everyone can — we're in this position like I am to, again, try to be the best I can be every day as an athlete, as a player, as a person in my community, for my team and so forth, so yeah, I'm not sure what else."

Super Bowl winners at the White House

But regardless of which party has held the presidency in the past five-plus years, Brady has frequently been a no-show at the White House for Super Bowl celebrations.

When Brady played with the New England Patriots, the team won the Super Bowl in two of the four years in which Trump was president. However, Brady skipped the White House invitation after the 2017 championship because he wanted to visit his mother, who had been diagnosed with cancer 18 months earlier.

After winning the 2019 Super Bowl, Brady and the Patriots also did not visit the Trump White House. And Brady didn't visit the White House, during the Obama administration, after the Patriots won the 2015 Super Bowl.

Not all teams visit the White House, at least not immediately.

Neither the 2018 Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles, nor the 2020 Super Bowl winners, the Kansas City Chiefs, visited Trump's White House.

One team, the 1973 Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins, waited 40 years for their invite.

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All of this has led to speculation as to whether Brady would join the Buccaneers for a White House visit, after Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Feb. 8 that an invitation would be extended.

While a date for a visit has not been scheduled, neither the Buccaneers nor Brady have said they will not attend, nor have they rejected a potential invitation.

USA TODAY reached out to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for comment.

The White House has said a visit by the Buccaneers, as well as the NBA Finals champion Los Angeles Lakers, would be scheduled when COVID-19 conditions permit.

Our ruling: False

The White House has not issued a formal invite to Brady and the Buccaneers, and therefore could not have been rejected. There is no record of Brady publicly declaring his intention to go or not go. Nor is there any evidence that he or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be visiting Mar-a-Lago instead. We rate these claims as FALSE.

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This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Fact check: Tom Brady, Bucs' will get White House invitation when safe

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