Tom Brady claimed his last minute decision not to visit the White House on Wednesday was made with family in mind.
The quarterback, who learned just hours before announcing his absence that former teammate and mentee Aaron Hernandez had committed suicide at the age of 27, reportedly spent the day with his mother in Boston.
The Boston Herald reports Brady’s mother, Galynn, had traveled to New England from California – so the quarterback decided to make the most of her visit.
Galynn Brady has been battling cancer for more than a year.
She was able to attend the Super Bowl earlier this year, where her son claimed another championship and MVP trophy.
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No go: Tom Brady announced on Wednesday morning that he will not be attending the White House celebration in honor of the patriots Super Bowl win (Brady and Hernandez above in 2012)
Under his wing: The decision came just a few hours after it was revealed that Aaron Hernandez had committed suicide in his jail cell (above in 2012)
The members of the New England Patriots who did make the trip to the White House are pictured with the president on Wednesday
His mother’s visit was revealed after there had initially been shock as it appeared Brady’s decision could have been motivated by the Hernandez news.
The quarterback has done his best to say removed from Hernandez’s drama ever since he was first convicted of murder back in the summer of 2013.
For the three years before that, Brady had taken the tight end under his wing, doing everything in his power to create a nurturing and supportive environment for the football player on the Patriots.
‘I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today,’ said Brady in a statement.
Tom Brady posted this picture on Instagram Wednesday, with the caption: ‘For 48 years, my sisters and I have had the best example of love, friendship and compassion in our lives! And it’s so special to celebrate together! I love you mom and dad!’
Galynn Brady is seen celebrating after her son, Tom, won the Super Bowl with the Patriots this year
‘Our team has accomplished something very special that we are all proud of and will be for years to come.
‘Thank you to the President for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember.
‘In light of some recent developments, I am unable to attend today’s ceremony, as I am attending to some personal family matters.
‘Hopefully, if we accomplish the goal of winning a championship in the future years, we will be back on the South Lawn. Have a great day!’
Hernandez committed suicide just days after he was acquitted of a 2012 double murder, and on the same day that his former teammates are scheduled to be honored at the White House for their recent Super Bowl win.
The convicted killer’s death is a final slap to the team that gave him so much, making him a millionaire and one of the brightest stars in the NFL after he was selected by Bill Belichick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Support: Brady had been a mentor to Hernandez (above in 2011)
That success and fame mattered little however to Hernandez, whose life was instead fueled by vengeance and revenge.
The former tight end and father of a four-year-old daughter was found hanging in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts.
He did not leave a note.
Hernandez, 27, was already serving life in prison without parole for the shooting death of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd in 2013.
Christopher Fallon, the Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Communications of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, sent out a message after Hernandez’s death on Wednesday.
‘On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital,’ said Fallon.
‘Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window.
‘Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.’
Glory days: Brady holding up the Super Bowl trophy after his fifth win with the Patriots this past February
A spokesperson for the Patriots said that the team would not be commenting on Hernandez’s death at this time, stating: ‘We are aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today.’
Reports suggest that Hernandez had a violent record in prison, including many fights with other inmates, but he has never attempted suicide.
Massachusetts State Police are investigating the incident, and will take a look at what time he went to his cell, the last time he was seen by guards and if there had been any recent incidents between Hernandez and other inmates.
Investigators will also examine the recent phone calls and visits that Hernandez received, with a prison official stating he was not on suicide watch at the time of his death.
The team is the first championship team – after winning the Super Bowl – that Trump will host in Washington, DC.
Six other players will not attend the visit: LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch, Dont’a Hightower, Chris Long and Martellus Bennett have said they won’t be attending.
All but Hightower have cited political reasons for not attending the event.
In 2015, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady skipped the White House visit with then-President Barack Obama, citing a family commitment.