WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden welcomed Tom Brady and the Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the White House on Tuesday, the first visit by the reigning NFL champions since 2017.
It was Brady's first visit since 2005 with the New England Patriots when George W. Bush was in office. Brady has won the Super Bowl during four different administrations but skipped visits by the Patriots in 2015 with Barack Obama and 2017 with Donald Trump.
The Patriots as a team chose not to attend after winning in 2019.
Brady was front and center, accompanying Biden, coach Bruce Arians and owner Bryan Glazer into the ceremony, which included jokes about age and the election and a push from the president for players to get vaccinated against the coronavirus if they hadn’t already.
Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl champion, joked to Biden that people didn't think the Buccaneers would win the Super Bowl “and 40% of people still don't think we won” and said losing track of downs caused people to call him “Sleepy Tom." Biden was presented the traditional gift of a No. 46 jersey — which Glazer said was appropriate since Tampa Bay is heading into its 46th season as a franchise.
Players Donovan Smith and Bradley Pinion from the team's social justice committee met with Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday morning to talk about voting rights.