The New England Patriots and President Trump criticized The New York Times for tweeting a photo comparison that suggested a smaller turnout for the team's latest Super Bowl celebration. The first was taken during the Patriots' visit with President Barack Obama in 2015, with the second being the Patriots' visit with President Trump on Wednesday. The Times reported that about 50 players attended the event in 2015.
Photos shot by Getty Images appear to show hundreds of additional spectators taking in Trump's congratulatory speech from the White House lawn, which provided the president with the ammunition he needed. "In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn", the team said on its Twitter account.
"The last time the #Patriots won two Super Bowls in three years, 36 players visited the White House". Even Trump fan Tom Brady did not make the trip, citing a family issue.
The New York Times responded to the Patriots Wednesday on Twitter.
The Times also added a correction to a story about the gathering, writing: "An earlier version of this article included photos comparing the size of the Patriots' gathering at the White House in 2015 and the gathering on Wednesday".
Interestingly enough, in Trump's remarks, he made no mention of the Pats superstar QB at all, despite his Super Bowl heroics and their longtime friendship.
Apparently the photos were misleading.
Some players reportedly declined to attend the White House ceremony because they didn't want to be seen with Trump.
The delegation was made up of Patriots players as well as the organization's personnel.
On Thursday, New York Times sports editor Jason Stallman apparently offered up an apology while talking to Colin Campbell of Yahoo, although there was no attribution.
"Patriots say (number) of players was smaller this year than 2015, but total delegation was roughly the same", the publication wrote. Both those visits were when George W. Bush was president.