Some players have announced they will not participate in the Philadelphia Eagles White House visit ceremony in April.
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41 to 33 in Super Bowl XLL to bring the first NFL back to Philly 1960, but don’t expect all the players to attend the traditional White House event to meet with the President.
According to NJ.com, wide receiver Torrey Smith, defensive end Chris Long and safety Malcolm Jenkins and other Eagles players are planning to boycott the Eagles White House event to meet President Trump.
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The decisions to decline the traditional annual White House visit come after President Trump criticized NFL players for kneeling or raising fists during the national anthem in solidarity against injustices in the United States.
Star safety Malcolm Jenkins told CNN Monday he plans to skip the White House visit.
"Nah, I personally do not anticipate attending," Jenkins told CNN's "New Day."
Jenkins raised his fist during the national anthem during the past NFL season.
Torrey Smith told NJ.com last week that if the Eagles were to win the Super Bowl he would not visit the White House. Smith has expressed that he raised his fist during the national anthem to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter Movement, despite the president’s claim that players are kneeling and raising their fists to purposefully disrespect the flag, the military and the national anthem.
"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," he said. “I understand why some people are offended by it. Also, there are soldiers that have issues going on right now, and they are things that affect them. They're things that affect my father. He understands both sides of the issue."
Defensive end Chris Long played for the Patriots last year when they won the Super Bowl and did not attend the White House ceremony. This year doesn’t change.
"No, I'm not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?" he said during an interview on the “Pardon My Take” podcast last week.
Running back LeGarrette Blount, who also played for the Patriots last year did not attend the White House to meet President Trump and it’s likely that he will not visit this year either.
After the Eagles defeated the New England Patriots, president Trump took to Twitter to congratulate the team for their Championship win.
“Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!” he wrote.
Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2018
Although the president didn’t participate in an interview before the Super Bowl, he did release an official memo making a point to mention that he plans to stand for the national anthem.
While the president never said publically what team he was rooting for, it’s likely that he wanted the New England Patriots to win. Patriots team owner Robert Kraft donated $1 million to Donald Trump’s inaugural celebrations.
Trump has publically expressed his feelings about the New England Patriots, so it’s safe to say he’s a fan.
“Never bet against Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick or Tom Brady!” he wrote in a tweet from 2013.
Never bet against Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick or Tom Brady! @Patriots— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2013
When is the Philadelphia Eagles White House visit?
Although the official date for the Philadelphia Eagles White House visit has not been officially released yet, expect it to be sometime mid-April. When the Patriots won Super Bowl LI, they visited the White House on April 19.
Malcolm Jenkins says he will skip Eagles White House visit
Philadelphia Eagles star Malcolm Jenkins says he intends to skip the team's upcoming visit to the White House to commemorate their Super Bowl victory https://t.co/l0GhR7jev7 pic.twitter.com/mIDgaCuPtt— CNN (@CNN) February 5, 2018