Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers visited President Biden at the White House Tuesday to celebrate their win over the Chiefs.
At one point during the ceremony, Brady made light of baseless claims of election fraud stoked by former President Trump.
“These guys are an amazing group of men,” Brady said. “It didn’t look great at one point, we were 7—5 and struggling a little bit as the President alluded to. But we found our rhythm got on a roll. Not a lot of people think that we could have won. In fact, I think about 40% of the people still don’t think that we won.”
“I understand that,” Biden responded over a wave of laughter.
Brady: Not a lot of people think we could’ve won. In fact, I think about 40% of the people still don’t think we won
Biden: I understand that pic.twitter.com/0yNlu3d3Cn
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 20, 2021
Brady was alluding to public polling showing that a substantial percentage of Americans believe the “big lie” that Biden didn’t actually win the election.
Brady went on to say that it was “nice to be back here.”
He noted that during a game against the Bears last season he forgot what down it was and cracked another political joke.
“I lost track of one down in 21 years of playing and they started calling me, ‘Sleepy Tom,'” Brady said, nodding to the “Sleepy Joe” moniker Trump assigned Biden during the election.
“Why would they do that to me?” Brady asked.
For Brady, Tuesday’s trip to the White House marked his first trip there since 2005, when he won his third Super Bowl with the Patriots.
He skipped the Patriots’ visits to Washington, D.C., in 2015 and 2017. His absence in 2017 angered Trump, as the 45th president was worried that Brady’s absence would reflect poorly on him, according to the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey and Wesley Lowery.
That year, despite Brady winning Super Bowl MVP for his performance in the Patriots’ 28—3 comeback win over the Falcons, Trump did not mention the future Hall of Famer in his speech.
Before Tuesday, New England’s visit to the White House in the spring of 2017 had been the last visit there by an NFL champion.
The 2018 champion Philadelphia Eagles were uninvited by Trump after several Philadelphia players indicated they planned to skip the trip, and were outspoken about Trump’s repeated conservative stance on police brutality.
In 2019, none of the Patriots visited the White House to celebrate New England’s Super Bowl win over the Rams, with the team citing scheduling conflicts. The 2020 champion Chiefs were unable to visit because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tampa Bay won its second championship by defeating Kansas City in February. For Brady, 43, the victory marked his seventh title.
This article appeared in SI.