Just when we thought there were no more significant snubs forthcoming after Mexico’s president turned down the invitation to visit the White House over the unresolved issue of who will pay for The Wall, we hear that some of the Super Bowl Champion, New England Patriots, may also be taking a pass.

One tantalizing question is whether their star quarterback, Tom Brady, is among them?

Foreign leaders often cancel appointments over political quarrels but if Tom Brady, the record-breaking California-bred star quarterback says no thanks that is cause for concern.

The nation can withstand slights directed at our presidents as temporary dust-ups that can be remedied over time.

But when members of a championship sports team fresh off a historic 5th Super Bowl win have better things to do than accept a personal audience with the Commander-in-Chief this poses challenges that cannot be simply tweeted away.

The public gives a lot of weight to what sports celebrities say and do as starting Forty Niner quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, learned when he took a knee during the singing of the National Anthem!

Sports and politics have enjoyed a long and friendly relationship which has no problems over team allegiances and often crosses geographical and party lines.

Former President, George H.W. Bush, a New Englander by birth from one of the most liberal bastions in the nation did not let a bout with pneumonia prevent him for doing the coin toss for Super Bowl 51 in his adopted city of Houston—a staunch GOP stronghold.

Then President, Barack Obama, a devoted NFC Chicago Bears fan, welcomed the reigning AFC Pats at the White House after their fourth Super Bowl victory in 2015.

In 2016, last year’s Super Bowl Champion, the Denver Broncos, led by Peyton Manning, son of reliably Republican Louisiana, teamed up with Obama for a rousing Oval Office celebration.

This year President Trump may have to settle for a symbolic appearance by only a handful of the Patriots which may diminish the significance of an Oval Office salute. That would not sit well with millions of Patriot fans looking forward to this moment.

Sports have always been a unifying force when big football games or the World Series let Americans take a day off from their squabbles. Brady is well known for alluding onrushing linebackers but seems now to be wondering how to escape the embrace of the president who considers him a friend.

Trump, who has his own peculiar brand of hero worship (think Vladimir Putin) finds value in associating himself with football’s latest super-hero. At his pre-Inauguration dinner, the president reportedly said to the team owner Robert Kraft, “Your friend Tom just called to congratulate us, he feels good.”

Apparently so did Trump who looks forward to basking in the great man’s glory. Maybe Brady and his teammates will not be the ones making the decision which is the Owner’s call. Yet it is difficult to believe they have a more pressing engagement.

The president’s split with the leaders of France, Germany, Australia, China, Mexico and all of NATO is one thing; when a dynastic football squad and its iconic star with a global following considers association with the free world’s leader to be potentially embarrassing that is serious.

Here’s one idea that could save face all around:

Trump could agree to remove Massachusetts from the list of blue states he has without any proof accused of committing voter fraud in return for which in the interests of national unity, Brady and company will agree to huddle with the president— providing no photos.