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By Phillip Stucky
Several members of the Patriots football organization supported President Donald Trump during the election, and they are facing backlash now that Trump won, according to a Friday report from the Associated Press.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Head Coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady each supported Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
“I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past year is remarkable,” Belichick wrote to Trump the day before the election. “Hopefully tomorrow’s election results will give the opportunity to make America great again. Best wishes for great results tomorrow.”
The decision to support Trump makes it difficult for some supporters of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to support the Patriots in their battle against the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl.
“You can’t put that genie back in the bottle,” Clinton voter Patrick Dugan told the Associated Press about Brady’s possible support of Trump. “It’s out there at this point. And once it’s out there, it colors how you look at them, whether you want it to or not.”
Brady asserts that he didn’t endorse Trump, but that he merely knows him. “If you know someone, it doesn’t mean that you agree with everything they say or do,” Brady told the Associated Press about Trump.
Trump supporters expressed outrage at the pushback. “It’s pathetic. We have a double standard where if you admit you like Trump, you get blasted by the media,” Trump supporter Brian Craig told the AP. “If Brady endorsed Hillary, no one would care.”
Perhaps the best way to test that theory is to look at basketball star Lebron James, who campaigned heavily for Clinton during the campaign in the state of Ohio. There was little outrage at the political decision, but the incessant stumping for Clinton also didn’t prove fruitful and Trump won the state.
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