basketball

Eagles' visit to White House canceled over national anthem protest

Most of the Eagles roster - including most, if not all, its black players elected not to attend. Fewer than five (total) Eagles players committed to participate in the White House ceremony.


Kahron Spearman


The Philadelphia Eagles won't attend the customary ceremony at the White House honoring their Super Bowl victory, per a statement by President Donald Trump.

 

The statement from the White House said the reigning Super Bowl champions disagree with Trump "because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country."

Over the last two years, I've been meeting with legislators, both Republican and Democrat, it don't matter. If you want to meet to talk about events in my community, changing the country, I'm all for that. But this isn't one of those meetings, so I'll opt out of the photo opportunity.

Malcolm Jenkins
Safety, Philadelphia Eagles

Instead of the visit, the White House will host an event called "A Celebration of America," where the President says it'll be "one that will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem."

 

Most of the Eagles roster - including most, if not all, its black players elected not to attend. Per ESPN, fewer than five (total) Eagles players committed to participate in the White House ceremony.

Both the NFLPA and the Eagles organization made statements regarding the cancellation.

 

Defensive end Chris Long and safety Malcolm Jenkins - a leader amongst players using the NFL platform for social justice - had already decided they weren't going.

 

"I don't want to take away from anybody's experience or make it a big distraction. It's a celebratory event, and I want the guys who choose to go or whatever to enjoy that," Jenkins said in February. "Me personally, because it's not a meeting or a sit-down or anything like that, I'm just not interested in the photo op."

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