WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, President Joe Biden welcomed Tom Brady and the Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the White House for the first time since 2017.
Brady had not been to the White House since 2005, when he was a member of the New England Patriots.
Bush was the president at the time.
Brady has won the Super Bowl in four separate administrations, but the Patriots did not visit Barack Obama in 2015 or Donald Trump in 2017.
After winning in 2019, the Patriots decided not to attend as a team.
Brady was in the front row, escorting Biden, coach Bruce Arians, and owner Bryan Glazer into the event, which included jokes about Brady’s age and the election, as well as a push from the president for players to receive coronavirus vaccines if they hadn’t previously.
Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl winner, put on a hilarious skit, equating the Bucs’ playoff run to Biden’s presidential victory.
“Not many people believe we could have won, and I believe about 40% of people still don’t believe we won,” Brady added, grinning.
“In Chicago, we had a game where I forgot what down it was.”
After 21 years of playing, I lost track of one and was dubbed “Sleepy Tom.”
Why do they treat me like this?
The traditional gift of a No. 1 was given to Biden.
The number 46 jersey was chosen since Tampa Bay is entering its 46th season as a club, according to Glazer.
On Tuesday morning, players Donovan Smith and Bradley Pinion from the team’s social justice committee met with Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss voting rights.
Biden turned to dozens of players behind him and said, “If you don’t have a shot, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one, get one
When asked if the Buccaneers supplied information on which team members were vaccinated, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “You’re saving lives, and you’re helping us get back to our lives and our loved ones.”
As of Friday, ten NFL teams had surpassed the barrier of vaccinating 85% of their traveling party, however it remained unclear whether Tampa Bay was one of them.
When Brady approached the stage, Arians told Biden that he wished the House and Senate would work with the president to achieve the country’s “one goal,” as his Buccaneers achieved last season.
Biden singled out receiver Chris Godwin, a Pennsylvania native who grew up in Delaware, as someone he communicated with before the Super Bowl.
He compared himself to Brady, the oldest quarterback, and Arians, the oldest coach to win it all, as the oldest person to become president.
“You won’t hear me make any jokes about that,” Biden remarked.
“As far as I’m concerned, being the oldest guy to reach the summit isn’t a bad thing.” —— More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP–NFL