A small contingent from the Philadelphia Eagles were scheduled to visit the White House to celebrate the team’s Super Bowl victory, but Donald Trump canceled the visit Monday.
Trump’s thoughts on the national anthem weren’t necessarily the only reason players weren’t planning to attend. Jenkins talked about changes in our criminal justice system,Smith said that Trump has no respect for women,and Long called the visit a photo op.Most Eagles players hadn’t said whether or not they’d attend.
Smith, who now plays for the Panthers, tweeted that Trump’s statement included so many lies.He added:
A year ago, just half of the Patriots’ 68 players attended the White House in 2017. The group that did plan to go for the Eagles was reportedly a small one:
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that a large group of Eagles players had decided not to attend, including most — if not all — of the black players.
The president called off the Eagles’ planned 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue victory lap after he learned fewer than 10 players were expected to attend. Previous NFL appearances have included entire 53-man rosters plus a complement of coaches and executives. Many of the Eagles players objected to Trump’s oft-stated position that it’s disrespectful and outrageous for millionaire athletes to kneel or sit while the Anthem is played before games.
Now, just like he did with their invitation to The White House, Trump has once again changed his mind, tweeting that staying in the locker room is still disrespecting the national anthem and flag.
The Eagles have been one of the most outspoken teams in the league regarding protests during anthem, especially safety Malcolm Jenkins, who was not planning on attending the ceremony on Tuesday.
There is so much that has been swirling around that administration, safety Malcolm Jenkins said, I don’t see it as beneficial at this moment in time to visit in a celebratory fashion.
Other teams are playing, he said.