Biden breaks unofficial rule about headwear while hosting the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs

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President Joe Biden wears a Chiefs helmet as he speaks during an event with the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, May 31, 2024, to celebrate their championship season and victory in Super Bowl LVIII. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden welcomed the Kansas City Chiefs to the White House on Friday, lauding the back-to-back Super Bowl champion team for its sportsmanship on and off the field, and breaking an unofficial political rule about headwear. He tried on a Chiefs helmet the team gave him as a gift.

“It was cool to see him put the helmet on,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes told reporters after the celebration on the South Lawn. “We didn't expect that."

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Coach Andy Reid speculated that Biden might have been the first president to wear an NFL helmet.

"You all witnessed it. It's history being made,” said Reid, who appeared with Mahomes.

At the sun-splashed celebration, the Democratic president recalled that he had said during the Chiefs' visit last year that the team is building a “dynasty.” He noted the struggles they encountered last season on the road to another Super Bowl trophy and said, “I don't think anybody's doubting you now.”

Of the doubters, Biden joked, “I know what that feels like.”

He referred to Mahomes as the “comeback king, not kid” and said he'll never forget watching the game as the Marine One presidential helicopter brought him back to the White House that Sunday night.

The Chiefs came from behind in overtime to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 to win the Super Bowl in Las Vegas in February. The Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl in 2023.

They have won the Lombardi Trophy three times in the past five years.

Biden also lauded the players for their actions in February when gunfire rang out during Kansas City's parade and rally honoring the team. A mother of two was killed, and others injured.

“We saw pride give way to tragedy,” Biden said, adding that, “amid the chaos this team stepped up.”

“‘This team is exceptional,” the president said, adding that the country as a whole must “do more to stop the tragic shootings before they happen.”

Kicker Harrison Butker, who made headlines by assailing some of Biden's policies during a commencement speech earlier in May, accompanied his teammates to the White House. Butker recently defended his comments, saying he had no regrets about expressing his beliefs.

In the May 16 speech at Benedictine College, a private Catholic liberal arts school in Atchison, Kansas, Butker congratulated the women who were receiving degrees and said most of them were probably more excited about getting married and having children.

He criticized some of Biden's policy positions, including the president's condemnation of the Supreme Court’s reversal of its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Abortion is an issue that Biden and his fellow Democrats hope to use to their advantage in the November elections.

Butker also tackled Biden’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many of those who attended the celebration had hoped to catch a glimpse of singer Taylor Swift, tight end Travis Kelce 's girlfriend. She has been traveling abroad on her Eras tour and was not at the White House.

But the president and Kelce shared a moment when Biden said he'd invite Kelce, who often is brash and outspoken, to the microphone, “but God only knows what he'd say.”

Biden called him up anyway.

“My fellow Americans,” Kelce said to laughter. “It's nice to see you all yet again." Then he told Biden he was going back to his place on the riser because “they told me if I came up here I'd get tased.”

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