Last night, the Philadelphia Eagles won a stunning 41-33 victory in Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots – and their players weren’t afraid to get political in their post-game remarks.
Known for their activism and their work in their communities, several star Eagles players quickly made it clear that they had no intention of traveling to the White House for the customary ceremonial visit.
Safety Malcolm Jenkins told CNN’s New Day that “I permanently do not anticipate attending that.”
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Wide receiver Torrey Smith spoke about the subject on Wednesday, saying that “we read the news just like everyone else. 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.”
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Defensive end Chris Long already declared he wasn’t going to go long before the game was actually played. “No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?” he told a podcast last week.
Running back LeGarrette Blount, who did not visit the White House when he won the Super Bowl with the Patriots last year, also made it clear he was not going to humor our racist president. “I just don’t feel welcome into that house. I’m just gonna leave it at that.”
President Trump has made the issue of player protests during the anthem at NFL games into a personal crusade, berating the “ungrateful sons of bitches” and accusing them of “disrespecting” our troops while distorting and demeaning what the players are actually trying to accomplish – to force a discussion on systemic racism and police brutality in America.
“They call it the anthem protest. We’re not protesting the anthem. It’s a protest during the anthem. I understand why people are mad, or may be offended when someone takes a knee. My father, when he dies, is going to be buried with an American flag draped around his casket, being that he served in the Army” remarked Smith on the subject.
The refusal to visit the White House is sure to bother President Trump, who longs to share the spotlight of those more accomplished than himself.