Several members of the NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles, said they will forego a White House visit if one is scheduled.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith, defensive end Chris Long and safety Malcolm Jenkins have said they would boycott the traditional reception in response to President Donald Trump’s condemnation of NFL players who have knelt during the National Anthem to protest injustice.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a b---- off the field right now, he’s fired?’’” Trump said in a speech in September.
Last year, several members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, the team dethroned by the Eagles on Sunday, refused to make the visit.
Among them was Long, who was a member of the Patriots last year and said he would do the same thing as an Eagle this year, according to the Huffington Post.
“No, I’m not going to the White House,” he told the “Pardon My Take” podcast. “Are you kidding me?”
“[When] my son grows up, and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is, I don’t want him to say, ‘Hey Dad, why’d you go [to the White House] when you knew the right thing was to not go?’” Long said, according to the Washington Post.
On CNN’s “New Day” program Monday morning, Jenkins attributed his decision to his desire to see greater social justice in the country.
“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,” he 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. And I want to see our relationships between our communities and our law enforcement be advanced.”