The visit to the White House has been a tradition for teams fresh off a Super Bowl victory, same was to be followed after franchise winnings by the Philadelphia Eagles players, but some members of the team have already made clear that they have no intention of attending the champions’ traditional White House visit.
The Eagles were one of the most active teams in terms of activism through the course of the season, with several team members taking part in visible protests of police brutality and systemic racism during the national anthem.
Many players in the NFL have been critical of President Trump’s comments on race relations and athletes taking a knee during the national anthem.
Here are the Eagles players who have said they will skip out on the traditional visit:
Chris Long skipped last year’s White House visit with the Patriots and has already made headlines for his activism this year after he donated his entire 2017 salary to charities promoting educational equity. Long did not kneel for the anthem, but he did stand with his arm around teammate Malcolm Jenkins as he raised his fist in the air in solidarity with those who knelt.
When asked about a potential White House visit on the “Pardon My Take” podcast, Long replied “No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?”
Malcolm Jenkins is one of the emotional leaders of the Eagles’ defense in addition to being one of the players to meet with NFL leadership to discuss the issues surrounding the ongoing protests in fall 2017.
While appearing on CNN’s “New Day” Jenkins said, “Nah, I personally do not anticipate attending,” with regard to a potential White House visit.
Torrey Smith told reporters ahead of the Super Bowl that he would not be attending a White House visit if the Eagles were triumphant.
“We read the news just like everyone else,” Smith said on Wednesday. “You see Donald Trump tweet something … We have those conversations in the locker room, just like everyone else does in the workplace.”
LeGarrette Blount skipped last year’s White House visit along with Chris Long after winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots. “I just don’t feel welcome into that house,” Blount saidat the time, “I’m just gonna leave it at that.”
Blount has not commented on a potential visit this year yet, but has not indicated anywhere that his feelings on the matter have changed.