Though 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman would rather keep his mind focused on winning the Super Bowl, he does, however, “doubt” that he would visit the White House if such a victory was achieved.
“I haven’t thought about it,” Sherman told San Francisco Chronicle’s Scott Ostler regarding a White House visit. “We’ve got a long way between now and then, but I doubt it.”
As noted by Mercury News, Sherman enthusiastically visited the White House after the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
“By all accounts, the Seattle Seahawks had a jolly good time at their White House visit,” reported the outlet. “They took selfies. They took a tour of the people’s house. They shook hands and joked with the commander in chief. And the commander in chief joked right back.”
President Obama even joked at the time, “I considered letting Sherman up here to the podium and giving him the mic. But we gotta go in a little bit.”
So, once again, the honor of visiting the White House has been reduced to a game of partisan tribalism. Mercury News provided some history on how this practice has gone into overdrive in the age of President Trump:
2019: The New England Patriots took a pass. It was just the fifth time since the tradition began in 1987 that the Super Bowl winners did not visit the White House.
2018: The Philadelphia Eagles were set to visit, but when Trump discovered that 10 Eagles players would not be attending, he disinvited the team.
2017: About a dozen Patriots skipped the White House fete, most notably quarterback Tom Brady who claimed he could not attend due to “personal family matters.” It was the second year in a row that Brady was a no-show.
2016: President Obama welcomed the Denver Broncos to his final Super Bowl winners’ visit. In fairness, two Broncos of note did not attend — cornerback Aqib Talib, who was recovering from a gunshot wound, and quarterback Brock Osweiler, who had rejected the Broncos’ contract offer and signed with the Houston Texans.
President Trump even publicly rebuked the Philadelphia Eagles for playing politics during a time of unity.
“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country,” Trump said. “The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”
Last year, prior to the Super Bowl game in which they lost to the New England Patriots, Rams head coach Sean McVay said the team was “undecided” on whether or not they would visit the White House.
Richard Sherman himself has made several heated political statements in the age of Trump, such as when he said that the Dallas Cowboys anthem policy was the “old plantation mentality.”
“The owner of the Dallas Cowboys, with the old plantation mentality. What did you expect?” he said. “They’re having the conversations; that’s awesome. But there are unintended consequences. If they did this [original policy] to appease people, they didn’t appease anyone. It’s like putting a Band-Aid over a broken leg.”