Super Bowl 2018: Some Philadelphia Eagles players plan on boycotting White House visit after beating the Patriots

They want to see criminal justice reforms and better relations between communities and their police

Clark Mindock
New York
Monday 05 February 2018 17:01
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Malcolm Jenkins kisses the Lombardi trophy after winning the Super Bowl
Malcolm Jenkins kisses the Lombardi trophy after winning the Super Bowl

For the first time ever, the Philadelphia Eagles will have the opportunity to visit the White House as Super Bowl champions.

But some of the team members are not planning on giving President Donald Trump the time of day.

“Nah I personally do not anticipate attending that,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told CNN when asked if he would meet with the President following Sunday’s win in Minneapolis.

Jenkins, who participated in protests during the National Anthem during the season by raising a fist during the song, continued to say that his boycott is less about Mr Trump, and more about specific policies.

“I don’t have a message for the President,” Jenkins said. “My message has been clear all year. I’m about creating positive change in the communities that I come form, whether that 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 economical and educational advancement in communities of color and low income communities and i want to see our relationship between our communities and our law enforcement be advanced,” he said.

Jenkins was joined by wide receiver Torrey Smith, who also demonstrated this past year in protest of police brutality. Smith has expressed disapproval of Mr Trump’s attacks on players who have knelt during the National Anthem to protest racism in America.

“We read the news just like everyone else,” Smith said on Wednesday. “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.”

Defensive end Chris Long, who refused to attend a White House meeting last year after winning with the Patriots, was very blunt when asked if he would head to the White House this year.

"No, I'm not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?" Long said during an interview Sunday.

Mr Trump took the issue on in September, when he said that owners of NFL teams should fire players for kneeling during the anthem. In response, a wave of players began taking a knee in a very public rebuke of Mr Trump’s criticism, and of police brutality in America.

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