Politics

New England Patriots Player Jacoby Brissett Visits Trump White House — and Thanks Obama in Open Letter

New England Patriots player Jacoby Brissett posted a moving letter on Instagram to the president who made a great impact on him, during the same week that he and his Super Bowl-winning team visited the White House.

After the contentious 2016 election, and the January 20, 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump, politics has been inextricable from nearly every aspect of public life — especially sports.

And while Brissett's Instagram post kept politics out of the post, the Super Bowl he played in was steeped in it.

Super Bowl LI, which was played shortly after the inauguration, on February 5, was swiftly turned into a 2016 election parable on Twitter. (The Falcons, as the Democratic nominee stand-in, blew a lead and lost in overtime to the New England Patriots, whose coach is an ardent Trump supporter and whose quarterback Tom Brady reportedly has a "Make America Great Again" hat in his locker.) The advertisements were also overtly political (even if Lady Gaga's half-time show was not).

The Patriots' honorary visit to the White House.

Coinciding with the visit, Brissett,  shared a moving letter not to President Trump, but rather his predecessor President Barack Obama. The letter thanked him for being an inspiration to "a young man dreaming a dream from rough circumstances in Florida."

 

A post shared by Jacoby Brissett (@jbrissett7) on

 Now, kids from my community – and my future children – will know that there is no dream too big – even they could be the President of the United States. As I prepare for the honor of visiting the White House, I will be there as a Super Bowl Champion – and I will think of you, mainly because the White House is a different, and better place because you lived there.

Some Patriots players boycotted visiting the White House, citing Trump and his previous statements.

Running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive end Chris Long, defensive tackle Alan Branch, tight end Martellus Bennett, and safety Devin McCourty, were amont those who skipped the ceremony, citing President Trump. (Others, like Brady, did not attend due to family reasons.)

Long told the Boston Globe he would not attend because of the Access Hollywood tapes, while others cited not feeling welcome or accepted in a Trump White House.

Bennett and McCourty have previously made political statements, raising their fists during the National Anthem in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The full text of Brissett's letter is here:

"Dear Big O, I am writing you this letter to say thank you. I want to thank you for what you have done for this country – outside of politics. Honestly, I don't know enough about politics to judge what was good or bad, but I want you to know that when you said "Yes We Can" – a young man dreaming a dream from rough circumstances in Florida heard you. When you were elected President for the first time I was 16 and I watched you make the never-imaginable, attainable and I heard your cry to inspire hope. I used those words as motivation and saw your achievement as an opportunity and permission to work make my dreams come true too. You were the President of the United States – the highest office in the world. You broke a barrier and a stereotype proving not every minority has to use a ball to make a way. You've inspired a lifetime of dreamers young and old. Now, kids from my community – and my future children – will know that there is no dream too big – even they could be the President of the United States. As I prepare for the honor of visiting the White House, I will be there as a Super Bowl Champion – and I will think of you, mainly because the White House is a different, and better place because you lived there. I was a kid that came from nothing and I am living out one of the greatest dreams of my life. I am just grateful for the opportunity to walk on the same steps as you did, and to have a platform to inspire and I hope to leave my mark on history the way you did. One day, when I meet you, I will shake your hand and say thank you to your face but until then this kid is going to continue to dream until I can’t anymore. Thank you for blazing a trail, but for more than that, for leaving a paved road behind you for others to climb on. The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your DREAMS - Oprah Yes we can!! DREAM BIG!! Thank you, Jacoby Brissett P.S Holla at me to help you with your broke jump shot"