Matt Birk

White House visits are no longer what they were

Maybe it's time to stop inviting sports teams to the White House. It's not a mandate. It's not a law. And when the mere idea of it launches a slew of political statements, it sure doesn't sound like an honor.

The New England Patriots, fresh off a Super Bowl win, spent last week partying, parading -- and announcing how certain members will not be going to the White House to be congratulated.

"I don't feel accepted in the White House," safety Devin McCourty texted to Time.

"I don't feel welcome in that house," running back LeGarrette Blount told NFL host Rich Eisen.

Four other Patriots -- as of this writing -- said they would not attend. One of...