WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 held on the South Lawn. “We didn’t expect that. But it was really cool to see him throw that Chiefs helmet on and you get that Chiefs kingdom kind of for the rest of the nation to see.”

The Democratic president recalled that he said at last year’s celebration for the Chiefs that they are building a “dynasty.” He noted the struggles they overcame last season on the road to the Super Bowl and said, “I don’t think anybody’s doubting you know.”

He noted the shooting in February at Kansas City’s parade and rally honoring the team, which killed a mother of two and host of a local radio program.

“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.”

Biden recognized the Chiefs after their come-from-behind overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl in Las Vegas in February. It’s a longstanding tradition for championship sports teams, both professional and collegiate, to be invited to the White House.

In 2023, the Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, first lady Jill Biden’s favorite football team. She grew up near Philadelphia and attended the game. Kansas City defeated San Francisco to claim the 2020 Super Bowl title.

Kicker Harrison Butker, who made headlines by assailing some of Biden’s policies during a commencement speech earlier this month, 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.

Swift has been traveling abroad on her Eras tour and had a show on Thursday in Madrid.