|Patriots Tweet April 19, 2017|
Photos tweeted by the Times showed a much larger group celebrating the 2015 Super Bowl victory with former president Barack Obama, with both staircases to the South Portico filled with people. The image from the team’s trip Wednesday shows a smaller group behind President Trump.
The Patriots rarely offer official comments, choosing to remain silent even after the death earlier Wednesday of former tight end Aaron Hernandez, but they clarified a few things Wednesday evening after the tweet was widely shared.
These photos lack context. Facts: In 2015, over 40 football staff were on the stairs. In 2017, they were seated on the South Lawn. https://t.co/iIYtV0hR6Y— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 20, 2017
By midmorning Thursday, Jason Stallman, the Times’ sports editor, had taken responsibility for the tweet in an email to The Post. “Bad tweet by me. Terrible tweet. I wish I could say it’s complicated, but no, this one is pretty straightforward: I’m an idiot. It was my idea, it was my execution, it was my blunder. I made a decision in about four minutes that clearly warranted much more time.
UPDATE: Patriots say # of players was smaller this year than 2015 (34 vs. 50) but total delegation was roughly the same. pic.twitter.com/Ij77Def8z5— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) April 20, 2017
“Once we learned more, we tried to fix everything as much as possible as swiftly as possible and as transparently as possible. Of course, at that point the damage was done. I just needed to own it.”