Eagles In The White House 🦅
A snap decision
Several members of the Philadelphia Eagles are boycotting the traditional trip to the White House following their Super Bowl victory. Chris Long, Malcolm Jenkins, and Torrey Smith announced their protest less than 24 hours after their victory. A number of their teammates have joined in since then.
Why are they playing hooky?
The boycott is not entirely shocking. All three original boycotters have been outspoken about their ‘dislike’ for Trump due to his public criticism of NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem throughout the season. These three members of the Eagles are politically passionate. Jenkins is a social justice activist who has been fighting to improve the criminal justice system and Smith is a member of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Independent Journal Review: Eagles Fan Kellyanne Conway Will Invite Veterans in Place of Players Who Boycott Super Bowl WH Trip
Philadelphia Magazine: Several Eagles Players Say No Thanks To Visiting Trump
The right calls the NFL a “troubled league” and spins this protest as unpatriotic. They see Trump as the victim in this situation and note how calmly the White House has responded to the whole matter - contrasting it with the insults the Eagles team members have lobbed. Kellyanne Conway, a White House adviser, is inviting veterans who are Eagles fans to fill slots that open due to boycotting players. This is her attempt to take the power out of the political protest and turn it into a display of Trump’s support for the armed forces. Pretty clever.
The left says that Trump has ‘insulted’ and ‘criticized’ NFL players all season and this boycott is simply the backlash. They spin the story so that the Eagles are the victims, with Trump having ‘harassed’ them by calling for those who take a knee to be ‘fired’. The left believes the Eagles supporting #TakeAKnee is not ‘unpatriotic’ since it helps bring attention to problems of race and police violence. They see the WH boycott as an extension of #TakeAKnee.
Is skipping the WH trip really a big deal?
It might not be a big deal to skip the WH trip if you see it as a simple celebration, but it is a big deal to those who view attendance (or absence) as a political statement. The purpose of boycotting the visit for the Eagles is to make a statement on how our nation is divided, and how Trump has furthered the fissures of discord in America. However, by not attending, these players are creating divides themselves. They are dividing their teammates and the nation by asking them to choose a side. Truly a catch-22.
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