After Donald Trump publicly admonished former NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful Black Lives Matter kneeling protest, many Eagles champs have opted out of the traditional White House visit after their historic win.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told CNN Monday, “Nah, I personally do not anticipate attending.”
Wide receiver Torrey Smith joined in solidarity with Jenkins, saying he disapproved “of Trump’s war against players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest racism.”
Ahead of the Super Bowl, Trump released a statement urging players to stand for the anthem, misinterpreting Kaepernick’s original intent to bring awareness around police brutality as a jab at military.
“Though many of our nation’s service members are unable to be home with family and friends to enjoy this evening’s American tradition, they are always in our thoughts and prayers,” Trump’s statement read.
“We owe these heroes the greatest respect for defending our liberty and our American way of life. Their sacrifice is stitched into each star and every stripe of our Star-Spangled Banner. We hold them in our hearts and thank them for our freedom as we proudly stand for the national anthem,” it concluded.
Smith commented on the statement telling the press, “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.”
“They call it the anthem protest,” he continued.
“We’re not protesting the anthem. It’s a protest during the anthem. I understand why people are mad, or may be offended when someone takes a knee. My father, when he dies, is going to be buried with an American flag draped around his casket, being that he served in the Army.”
Eagles defensive end Chris Long skipped the White House visit when he won with the Patriots last year.