The Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long and Torrey Smith have stated that they have no intention of visiting President Trump in the White House in honor of their team’s victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
"I personally do not anticipate attending that,” Jenkins said Monday on CNN’s “New Day.”
"My message has been clear all year. I’m about, you know, creating positive change in the communities that I come from, whether it be Philadelphia, New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana, or this entire country.
"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. And I want to see our relationships between our communities and our law enforcement be advanced."
Jenkins and Smith have raised a fist during the national anthem this season.
Smith said last week during a pre-Super Bowl media event that he would not visit the White House should the Eagles win the big game.
"We read the news just like everyone else," 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. It's pretty special to have a group like that of folks that aren't just socially conscious, but folks who genuinely care about people and care about learning more.
"I'm not saying we're right about everything, but we're willing to figure out what is right. We're willing to work with people to find the best way to move forward, because there are problems and we're not shy about speaking up about them."
------------For the record: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Chris Long had raised his fist during the national anthem. He did not.
Last year, several members of the Super Bowl LI champion Patriots opted not to take part in the White House celebration as well. Long was one of them, and he will do the same again this year as a member of the Eagles.
"No, I'm not going to the White House,” Long said on the “Pardon My Take” podcast a week before the Super Bowl. “Are you kidding me?"
Like Long, Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount was a Patriots player who stayed away from the White House last year. Blount has yet to publicly state his intentions this year.
“I don't feel welcome in that house,” he said last year. “I'll leave it at that."