WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: U.S. President Donald Trump poses for photographs with the New England Patriots during a celebration of the team's Super Bowl victory on the South Lawn at the White House April 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. It was the team's fifth Super Bowl victory since 1960. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Brianna Chambers, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
The Patriots have snapped back after a collage photo posted by The New York Times shows a comparison of the team celebrating their Super Bowl win with former president Barack Obama in 2015 and this year with President Donald Trump.
According to the team, the comparison photo suggests a significantly smaller turnout for Trump’s celebration. The two photos show the Patriots personnel with the president on the south side of the White House. In the 2015 photo, two staircases are filled with men, whereas the photo with Trump shows empty staircases.
“These photos lack context,” the Patriots wrote on Twitter. “In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn.”
The Patriots posted another photo to their Twitter account Wednesday showing Patriots staff and players who visited the White House Wednesday, among other personnel.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James told The New York Times about 34 players visited the White House in 2005 and 2006 when George W. Bush was in office. He said nearly 50 players attended the event in 2015 when Obama hosted.
“James said that one reason substantially fewer players showed up this time as compared to 2015 was that some veteran players did not see the need to go twice in three years,” The New York Times reported.
The New York Times responded to the Patriots Wednesday on Twitter.
“Patriots say (number) of players was smaller this year than 2015, but total delegation was roughly the same,” the publication wrote.
The delegation was made up of Patriots players as well as the organization’s personnel.
UPDATE: Patriots say # of players was smaller this year than 2015 (34 vs. 50) but total delegation was roughly the same. pic.twitter.com/Ij77Def8z5