The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl on Sunday, which usually means that the team members get to go to the White House to be honored by the president, but already three of the players have said they would not go to the white house, reports The Daily Caller.
President Donald Trump is expected to invite the Eagles to the White House after their win Sunday night, but wide receiver Torrey Smith, defensive end Chris Long, and safety Malcolm Jenkins said they will refuse Trump’s invitation, according to NJ.com.
This refusal comes after months long of arguments and harsh words coming from both sides over the kneeling protests during the playing of the national anthem at NFL games this past season.
Jenkins was one of the first players to follow the San Francisco’s 49ers ex-quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he began to kneel during the playing of the national anthem in order to protest police brutality against black people early last year.
President Trump has publicly condemned the protests, saying it is an insult to our flag and the men and women who serve this country and protect them in the name of that flag. Now, those players would like to get back at Trump for saying those comments.
Kellyanne Conway says the administration will simply invite veterans to replace any Eagles players who to skip out on President Trump’s invite.
Trump also released a statement before the Super Bowl urging players to stand. All three players raised their fists in solidarity with Black Lives Matter during Sunday’s game.
“Though many of our nation’s service members are unable to be home with family and friends to enjoy this evening’s American tradition, they are always in our thoughts and prayers,” Trump’s statement read. “We owe these heroes the greatest respect for defending our liberty and our American way of life. Their sacrifice is stitched into each star and every stripe of our Star-Spangled Banner. We hold them in our hearts and thank them for our freedom as we proudly stand for the national anthem.”
Jenkins is the founder of the Player’s Coalition (PC) which he formed in response to President Trump’s attacks on the NFL players who chose to kneel.
The PC held months-long negotiations with the NFL, eventually convincing the league to pledge $89 million in donations to black American and social justice causes.
Long’s refusal marks the second time he’s rejected Trump’s invite, as he also won the 2017 Super Bowl as a member of the Patriots. He emphatically promised to skip out this year as well on an episode of Pardon Take My Podcast.
“No,” Long said. “I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?”
Smith and others contend they mean no disrespect to the anthem or the flag during their protests. Instead, they just say they are trying to improve the country.