— The Sports Xchange —
Safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive end Chris Long and wide receiver Torrey Smith reportedly are among a number of players on the Philadelphia Eagles that are planning to boycott any potential congratulatory trip to the White House.
President Donald Trump congratulated the Eagles on Twitter shortly after their 41-33 win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII on Sunday. He did not, however, extend a public invitation to the team and famously rescinded one to the Golden State Warriors after the NBA club said it didn’t want to go after its most recent championship season.
Jenkins said he’d skip the trip to see Trump during an interview on CNN Monday, and he offered the following reason as to why:
“My message has been clear all year. I’m about creating positive change in the communities that I come from, whether it be Philadelphia, New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana, or this entire country,” Jenkins said. “I want to see changes in our criminal justice system. I want to see us push for economic and educational advancement in communities of color and low-income communities.”
Trump’s position earlier this season unified more NFL players to protest before or during the anthem. He said during a political rally in Huntsville, Ala., on Sept. 22 that NFL owners should fire the players who knelt during the anthem.
“We’re proud of our country. We respect our flag,” Trump said to loud applause at the campaign event in Alabama. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!'”
Long, who skipped the post-Super Bowl trip last season as a member of the Patriots, hasn’t softened his stance.
“No,” Long said during the Pardon My Take Podcast. “I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?”
Smith took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with Trump.
“It goes beyond politics….I don’t think he is a good person,” he wrote.