- The Washington Times - Friday, June 3, 2016

DENVER — Former Denver Broncos quarterbacks John Elway and Peyton Manning may have opposed the current White House occupant in the last election, but they’re also good sports.

Mr. Elway and Mr. Manning, who both backed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012, are expected to meet with President Obama when he honors the NFL Super Bowl 50 champs at a Monday ceremony.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Mr. Elway told 9News’ Mike Klis. “It’s a great tribute to the players in what they did last year.”

Mr. Manning, who retired March 7 after winning his second Lombardi Trophy a month earlier, is slated to join about 100 of his former teammates at the ceremony, according to a team statement Thursday.

Also headed to the White House is Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“This visit will continue the tradition begun by President Obama of honoring sports teams for their efforts to give back to their communities,” the White House said in a press release.

One ex-Broncos signal-caller who won’t be there is Brock Osweiler, who started seven games last season as the team’s back-up but signed with the Houston Texans shortly after the Super Bowl win. He says he plans to remain in Texas for organized team activities [OTAs].

“The Broncos graciously extended an invitation for me to join them at The White House on Monday, but due to a scheduled OTA in Houston, I feel it is important to be at practice with my new teammates. It’s a new offensive system for me, and every practice and rep is extremely important. I am very appreciative of the Broncos wanting to include me on this special day,” Mr. Osweiler said in a statement.

Mr. Osweiler’s political leanings are unclear — he didn’t contribute to a presidential candidate in 2012 — while Mr. Elway and Mr. Manning have long histories of supporting Republican candidates, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

Now the Denver Broncos general manager, Mr. Elway raised eyebrows by opting out of the White House tribute after his first Super Bowl win as a player in 1998, when Democrat Bill Clinton occupied the White House.

“He [Elway] underwent an MRI on his knee and when the knee checked out fine, he played golf that day instead,” Mr. Klis reported.

The team wasn’t invited back after winning its second Super Bowl title the following year, which may have had more to do with Mr. Clinton’s impeachment woes than the Elway snub.

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady created a stir last year when he skipped the White House event after Super Bowl XXXIX, citing a family commitment, although there was speculation that he didn’t appreciate a previous crack by White House spokesman Josh Earnest about deflated footballs.

Mr. Brady has since praised presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, calling him a “good friend” during a December radio interview on WEEI, as reported by the New York Daily News.

“I support all my friends in everything they do. I think it’s pretty remarkable what he’s achieved in his life,” Mr. Brady said. “You’re going from business, kind of an incredible businessman, and then a TV star, and then getting into politics. It’s a pretty different career path. I think that is pretty remarkable.”

The Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, California.


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