The confetti had barely finished falling in Houston’s NRG Stadium before the country had begun speculating about the Super Bowl champion Patriots’ visit to Donald Trump’s White House.
Both team owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick were friends with Trump prior to his ascension to the White House, as was Tom Brady, who stirred up controversy when the then-candidate’s signature red “Make America Great Again” hat was spotted in his locker.
However, in the aftermath of the win, six high-profile players announced their intentions to skip the traditional White House visit, with four citing their opposition to Trump or his policies. Brady pulled out of the affair at the last minute, citing family matters.
So with the least popular first quarter President in polling history presiding over the day’s festivities, it was easy to believe in the veracity of this juxtaposition, tweeted out by the New York Times on Wednesday afternoon:
View image on Twitter
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 19, 2017
The tweet instantly went viral, drawing comparisons to the infamous photos of Barack Obama’s massive inauguration crowd versus Trump’s relatively sparse one.
The major difference this time was that the photos really didn’t tell the whole story. The Patriots team Twitter account put out the following statement, clarifying that the Trump photo couldn’t be compared outright to Obama’s because the staff were seated elsewhere this time.