For the longest time the Philadelphia Eagles have been avoiding the hot-button subject.
No longer, in the wake of being contacted by The New York Times after it was revealed that the White House plans to honor a tradition by inviting the Super Bowl champions for a visit this spring or summer
According to the story, an official announcement will come soon.
“We have been in conversations with the Eagles about timing and are working with them to make it happen,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the New York Times. “We hope to have something finalized in the next couple of weeks.”
Long did not attend the White House ceremony last year when he was a member of the then-Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. He said he would do the same thing as an Eagle this year.
"No, I'm not going to the White House, " he told the "Pardon My Take" podcast in January, before the Eagles’ Super Bowl win. "Are you kidding me?"
Long, in a video created after the Patriots’ win last year, gave his reasons for turning down the invitation.
“[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 published reports.
The Eagles said talks are ongoing with White House representatives.
“We have been in contact with White House representatives and are currently discussing the logistics of an upcoming visit to Washington,” a team spokesman said. “We are honored to receive this invitation and view this not only as an opportunity to be recognized for our on-field accomplishments, but also as an opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with the leaders of our country.”
Jenkins, who co-founded the Players Coalition, stopped his fist-raising demonstration during the national anthem last season after an agreement was struck with NFL owners to finance many of its causes.
Trump has bashed the NFL for allowing those who choose to sit out the national anthem or kneel during its playing to go unpunished in the wake of the controversial practice most associated with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
In a speech last September, Trump said: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say: ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He’s fired. He’s fired.’ ”
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, widely acknowledged as a liberal among a mostly conservative group of owners, has been critical of Trump, though he has never stated he would refuse to visit the White House.
Lurie was one of the NFL owners who joined his players on the sidelines in September and stood arm-in-arm as the national anthem played after Trump’s speech about firing players who protested.
According to the New York Times, weeks after Trump attacked the league, several dozen owners, players and league executives met to discuss a plan to donate money to an array of groups fighting social injustice. , Lurie was passionate about a concern that was raised by a player who said it was difficult to support owners because they support Trump, the Times reported.
“Another fact I want to throw out there: Many of us have no interest in supporting President Trump,” Lurie said, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by the Times. “Yes, there are some. There are some players who do, too.
“But this is not where you brandish a group of people because they own assets in a sport we love, supporting what many of us perceive as, you know, one [expletive] disastrous presidency. But don’t quote me.”