The New England Patriots are making their visit to the White House on Wednesday, but when they arrive, they'll be missing another notable player. In addition to Devin McCourty, Martellus Bennett, Chris Long,

Dont'a Hightower, LeGarrette Blount (all of whom are skipping the visit for political reasons) and Alan Branch (who says he is skipping because of the Access Hollywood tape), Tom Brady will be absent from the trip. 

Brady, who in contrast to his teammates has voiced support for President Donald Trump, explained his decision in a statement on Wednesday morning. 

"I am so happy and excited that our team is being honored at the White House today," Brady wrote. "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 future years, we will soon be back on the South Lawn again. Have a great day!"

Brady was asked earlier this offseason how he felt about his teammates deciding not to go to the White House. 

"It really is a great experience," he said. "Putting politics aside, it never was a political thing. At least, it never was to me. It meant you won a championship and you got to experience something cool with your team, with your teammates. Everyone has their own choice. It's an offseason. These days are valuable for everybody. You only get so much time with your family and friends, and if people don't want to go they don't want to go and that's their choice."

It was reported during the week before the Super Bowl that Brady's mom has been battling an illness for the last 18 months, which was revealed later to be cancerBrady was emotional all week and got a surprise visit in Houston from his mother, who attended her first Patriots game of the season.  

Brady said during a radio interview in February that his mother's health had been improving.

"Mom's doing better," Brady said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston. "She's been through a lot. My dad has been through a lot. It's been a really hard year for them. Our prayers are with her. She's the best mom in the world, so it was nice to win for her, nice for her to be there." 

ESPN's Mike Reiss tweeted Wednesday that Brady's mother is currently in Boston.

This will not be the first time Brady is absent from a presidential visit, and not the first time he has cited family obligations as the reason for his absence. When the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2015, Brady cited a previously-scheduled family obligation in declining to attend President Barack Obama's White House ceremony for the team, but was reportedly at Gillette Stadium doing some stretching when his teammates were meeting with the president.