At least three Philadelphia Eagles are already on the record saying they will not attend the White House should President Donald Trump extend an invitation to the newly crowned Super Bowl champs.
Eagles players Chris Long and Torrey Smith made clear their intentions not to attend even before their 41-33 win over the New England Patriots, and teammate Malcolm Jenkins joined them after the game.
“I personally do not anticipate attending that,” Jenkins told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday morning.
Asked if he had a message for Trump, Jenkins said, “I don’t have a message to the president. My message has been clear all year. I’m about creating positive change in the communities that I come from, whether it be Philadelphia, New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana or this entire country. I want to see changes in our criminal justice system. I want to see us push for economical and educational advancements in communities of color and low-income communities, and I want to see our relationships between communities and law enforcement be advanced. And that’s what myself and my peers have been pushing for for the last two years, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
Jenkins helped found the Players Coalition, a group dedicated to racial equality that convinced the NFL to donate $89 million to their effort.
Trump has been critical of players who protest inequality during the national anthem, calling former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others “sons of bitches” who deserve to be fired. Jenkins raised his fist during the anthem in the past.
When asked on “Pardon My Take” last week if he would visit, Long said, “No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?” The defensive lineman refused an invite as a member of the Patriots last year, saying, “When my son grows up — and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is — I don’t want him to say, ‘Hey Dad, why’d you go when you knew the right thing was to not go?'”
Smith, who played with Kaepernick in San Francisco, told NJ.com last week that he would not attend the White House if the Eagles won.
“We read the news just like everyone else,” he said.
“You see Donald Trump tweet something … We have those conversations in the locker room, just like everyone else does in the workplace. We’re very informed about what goes on, and we’re trying to continue to educate ourselves. It’s pretty special to have a group like that of folks that aren’t just socially conscious, but folks who genuinely care about people and care about learning more.”
Asked on Twitter after the game why he would not visit Trump, Smith elaborated:
Former Patriots and current Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount, who like Long did not attend the White House when the Pats made their 2017 visit, said then, “I just don’t feel welcome in that house.”
In addition to criticizing players who protest inequality during the anthem, Trump has also ripped the NFL’s ratings, calling the game “boring” and “too soft” and asking his supporters to boycott the league.
So, you wonder if any Eagles will attend the White House or even be invited, as was the case when Trump declined to invite the NBA champion Golden State Warriors after they criticized the president.