The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl for the first time in the franchise’s history on Sunday, but several players have already indicated that they will not participate in the traditional White House visit, citing their opposition to President Donald Trump.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who also raised his fist during the National Anthem this past season, told CNN on Monday that he intends to skip the White House visit.
“Nah, I personally do not anticipate attending,” Jenkins told CNN’s “New Day.”
Wide receiver Torrey Smith, who also raised his fist on the field to express solidarity with the “Black Lives Matter” movement, expressed his disapproval of Trump’s war against players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest racism.
Trump, who released a statement on Super Bowl Sunday urging players to “proudly stand for the anthem,” congratulated the Eagles for their historic win.
“Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!” he tweeted.
“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 added. “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.”
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SOURCE: CNN, Deena Zaru