Winning a championship in any sport is a prestigious honor that so few people will ever be a part of in their lives.  One of the best perks of winning a championship in a sport, besides receiving a hell of a nice ring, is to visit the White House and be honored by the President.

Recently, news surfaced that numerous members of the Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots will not be attending the White House due to their personal feelings about our current Commander In Chief, Donald Trump.  Thus far those individuals are, Alan Branch, LaGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty, Dont'a Hightower and Chris Long.

When asked how he felt about his fellow teammates not attending the White House  in the future, Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady mentioned that he has no problem with it, and that it is their "own choice" to make the trip.  Truth be told, it is their decision to visit the White House or pass on the trip, and there is no problem with them skipping the trip, however, I think it is their loss.

As I noted at the begging of this story, so few individuals have had the honor of winning a championship, and even fewer have been invited to the White House by the President, as the tradition dates back to 1865 when President Andrew Johnson welcomed the Brooklyn Atlantics and Washington Nationals amateur baseball clubs to the White House.  The first professional sports team to visit the White House was the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869 as President Grant hosted the franchise.  In terms of an NFL franchise, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the first team to visit President Jimmy Carter in 1980 along with the World Series champion Pirates.

President Obama Hosts The Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots At The White House
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The way I look at it, your team won a championship together and therefore should visit the White House as a complete team as well.  Years ago I had the opportunity to take a personal tour of the White House, and the experience was truly awe inspiring to say the least.  Imagine having the opportunity to visit the most famous house in America and be honored by the President, now that is something to tell your kids and grandkids about.

In the end every individual's decision to go or not is their own, but they may just regret it in the future as hindsight is 20/20.  Whether a person is a fan of the President or not shout be irrelevant, as it is an honor to be part of a championship celebration at the White House because it is such a long standing tradition, and living in this country allows us freedoms that most people will never know in other places around the world.

These freedoms should not be taken for granted; if the leader of the free world invites you to visit them in their home to honor your team for winning a championship, you should at least show up with appreciation and gratitude.



More From 600 ESPN El Paso