I suppose this was inevitable because it’s 2018 and everything has to be terrible. It looks as if the Philadelphia Eagles playbook has been expanded to include more than screen passes and flea flickers.
Step 1: Win Super Bowl for first time in franchise history.
Step 2: Watch as fans set fire to city, loot department stores and tear down street lights.
Step 3: Turn victory into political statement so some players can be part of the #RESIST movement.
Time Magazine reports that a number of players didn’t waste any time on celebrating or planning for the next season before they took aim at Donald Trump, proclaiming that they would not be participating in any sort of official White House visit welcoming the victors.
The Philadelphia Eagles are still basking in the glory of the franchise’s first Super Bowl title, but some players already have their minds made up on the White House visit that traditionally follows.
A day after defeating the New England Patriots, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told CNN that he won’t be making the trip to Washington, D.C. to visit President Donald Trump.
“Nah, I personally do not anticipate attending,” Jenkins, who raised his fist during the National Anthem this past season, said Monday on New Day.
Jenkins is not alone in that decision. Defensive end Chris Long also plays (sic) to boycott the White House visit, just as he did last year when he won the Super Bowl with the Patriots.
Long went on to add, “are you kidding me?” when asked about his plans.
Torrey Smith, one of Colin Kaepernick’s biggest supporters, made a point of explaining how “well informed” the players are and how they all follow the news. He apparently follows the President on Twitter (or at least claims to) and referenced Trump’s social media use when making it clear that he has no intention of going to Washington to meet with him.
Here’s one question which doesn’t seem to be settled yet. Has Trump actually invited them? I realize that it’s traditional to do so, but if we’ve learned one thing about this president over the past year it’s that he’s not one to let a little thing like tradition stand in his way. If too many of the players are declaring up front that they will boycott the event, turning it into an opportunity for the media to point out how sparsely attended it is, do you really think Trump would hesitate before simply deciding to not extend the invitation and scheduling something different for that day?
If I can offer a nickel’s worth of free advice to the White House, it might be time to switch up the protocol a bit. There’s no need to “cancel” something which isn’t already scheduled because the optics of that aren’t optimal either. What they could do instead is have a liaison let the Eagles owner know that they can request a White House visit if they wish and submit a list of names of players who would be coming. You know… for security reasons. If a sufficient number are interested in participating, the request could be granted. If not, better luck next year.
Then, if they do ask to come and some of the players bail out to grab another fifteen minutes of fame with the media, the White House can simply express their “disappointment” that the players didn’t honor their commitment. It’s still not ideal, but it would be better than an engraved invitation to have a bunch of millionaire ballplayers turn what should have been a great honor into a cheap political stunt. If they want to protest, that’s fine. Let them do it outside.