A year after numerous New England Patriots players skipped the team’s visit to the White House over objections to President Donald Trump’s policies, it appears some Eagles stars are following suit.
Pro Bowl safety Malcolm Jenkins — a leader of the Players Coalition, which campaigns for criminal-justice and policing reform — told CNN on Monday that he would not accompany the team to the White House.
“Nah, I personally do not anticipate attending that,” he said.
After CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked if he had a message for the president, Jenkins said he did not, before adding, “My message has been clear all year. I’m about creating positive change in the communities that I come from. … 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 relationships between our communities and our law enforcement be advanced.”
Philadelphia Eagles star Malcolm Jenkins says he intends to skip the team’s upcoming visit to the White House to commemorate their Super Bowl victory https://t.co/l0GhR7jev7 pic.twitter.com/mIDgaCuPtt
— CNN (@CNN) February 5, 2018
Jenkins is not the only Eagles player who won’t be visiting the White House with his team. Defensive end Chris Long, who skipped the White House last year after winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots, said on Pardon My Take last week that he would do the same again.
“No, I’m not going to the White House,” he said. “Are you kidding me?”
Like Long, running back LaGarrette Blount boycotted last year’s White House visit after winning the Super Bowl with the Pats, saying he didn’t “feel welcome in that house.” He has not yet commented on whether he will decline the invite again in 2018.
The Eagles were at the forefront of player activism all season, with Jenkins, Long and receiver Torrey Smith all among the most outspoken social justice advocates in the league. Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie, meanwhile, is considered one of the NFL’s least Trump-friendly owners, having donated $2,700 to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Last year, about half of all Patriots players skipped the team’s White House visit, though not all of them explicitly said they did so because of Trump. We’ll find out soon enough how this Eagles team compares.