The whole thing was a decidedly apolitical affair given our country’s current political climate. Justin Timberlake kept things strictly pop, and other than Dodge exploiting Martin Luther King, Jr. to sell cars (SMH), there was shockingly little cause for controversy or a Presidential Twitter tirade.
However, on Monday morning, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins—who did raise a fist during the National Anthem—told CNN he’ll be skipping the Eagles' traditional White House visit. Technically, Donald Trump hasn't extended an invitation to the Eagles yet, but he congratulated the team in a tweet on Sunday night.
Despite it, Jenkins has voluntarily removed his name from the invite list. “Nah I personally do not anticipate attending,” he said.
Jenkins isn’t the only Eagles player who won’t be flying to the White House, either, as several others have already hinted they’ll be passing on the upcoming visit for the plain and simple fact that Trump is the person occupying it.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith, who also raised a fist on Sunday, voiced his disapproval of the President condemning players for taking a knee as a demonstration of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Last Wednesday, Smith 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.”
Hear that, 45? That’s what real men discuss in the locker room—not assaulting women. “We're not protesting the anthem,” Smith continued. “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.” Preach.
Chris Long (pictured above) has also gone on the record and said he's not in favor of the Eagles visiting Trump following their Super Bowl win. During a recent Pardon My Take podcast appearance, he questioned why he would ever entertain the idea in the first place. “No, I'm not going to the White House,” he said. “Are you kidding me?”
It's also unlikely running back LeGarrette Blount will be with the Eagles when they go to the White House. While he hasn't said anything officially since the team's Super Bowl win, he skipped the Patriots' White House visit last year when they won the Super Bowl. “I just don't feel welcome into that house,” he said at the time. “I'm just gonna leave it at that.”
Trump hasn't responded to the news of these players passing on the opportunity to visit the White House just yet. But he will presumably drop some petty AF tweet about how Super Bowl ratings have slipped to an eight-year low when he does, which, while true, doesn't have anything to do with the epidemic of police violence and racism in this country. For some of us, lives matter more than money, and that seems to be why so many pro athletes are saying, “Thanks, but no thanks,” to the President's invitations these days.
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