After The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl for the first time in the franchise’s history on Sunday, several Eagles said they would rather meet up with former president Barack Obama and skip the traditional White House visit.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith, known by raising his fist on the field to express solidarity with the “Black Lives Matter” movement, expressed his disapproval of Donald Trump’s crusade against NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest against racism and police brutality.
“We read the news just like everyone else,” he 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. We’re very informed about what goes on, and we’re trying to continue to educate ourselves.”
“They call it the anthem protest,” Smith added. “We’re not protesting the anthem. 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.”
The president congratulated the Eagles for their historic win; “Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!” Trump tweeted.
However, when Donald Trump launched a media war in September against players and NFL owners who take a knee during the National Anthem he sparked a wave of new protests on the field.
Chris Long who skipped the White House visit last year when he played for last year’s champs, the New England Patriots, also won’t attend.
“No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?” Long said during an interview on Pardon My Take Podcast last Sunday.
Running back LeGarrette Blount, who played for the Patriots last year, also skipped at the time, saying, “I just don’t feel welcome into that house. I’m just gonna leave it at that.”
Malcolm Jenkins, who also raised his fist during the National Anthem with Smith, is not a big fan of President Trump.