By Donald Judd, CNN
(CNN) – President Joe Biden will welcome Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the White House on Tuesday, an official told CNN, marking a return to normalcy after the coronavirus pandemic and years of tension between the NFL and Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump.
The visit marks the first time since 2017 that a Super Bowl champion has visited the White House. In 2018, the Philadelphia Eagles were not invited by Trump, who cited the ongoing protests during the national anthem, calling the players’ protests “disrespectful.” A number of players had previously announced that they would be forgoing the tour, and one player told CNN that few of them planned to attend anyway.
The New England Patriots, who won the 2019 Super Bowl, ultimately did not attend the traditional White House ceremony, although both sides said it had nothing to do with politics. At the time, a player told the New York Times that he preferred to meet former President Barack Obama.
In 2020, Trump congratulated the Kansas City Chiefs on their Super Bowl victory, although he mistakenly tweeted that they were from Kansas, not Missouri. The team did not come to the White House to celebrate their victory due to the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Biden welcomed the 2020 World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers to the White House. At a ceremony in the East Room, the team presented Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris with team jerseys, while Biden thanked the organization for offering their stadium as a vaccination site and test.
The Buccaneers’ victory marked the seventh Super Bowl victory for quarterback Tom Brady. The former Patriots quarterback skipped the 2017 White House visit citing family issues but sparked controversy during the 2016 election campaign when a “Make America Great Again” hat was spotted in his locker after a game. Brady also skipped a visit to the White House under Obama.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated Tom Brady’s Super Bowl winning count. He has seven.
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