Philadelphia Eagles / YouTube Eagles Press Pass WR Torrey Smith...
Philadelphia Eagles / YouTube

The City of Brotherly Love has no time for Donald Trump, and neither do its newest heroes: 

Several Eagles players have already said they intend to boycott the winning team’s traditional trip to the White House.

No one on the Eagles sat or kneeled during the national anthem this season, but several players raised their fists in protest, including Malcolm Jenkins, Torrey Smith, and Rodney McLeod. Jenkins led the Players Coalition, which secured a commitment from the NFL to provide $89 million over seven years to groups fighting inequality. Last week Jenkins and Smith said they did not intend to go to the White House if they won the Super Bowl.

Trump didn’t help matters by sending out an infantile taunt that was probably the brainchild of his White Supremacist staff:

One day it may dawn on this Jackass-In-Chief that no one was ever protesting the National Anthem. Or maybe not, as Eagles wide receiver James Torrey Smith patiently explains:

“They call it the anthem protest,” Smith said on Wednesday. “We’re not protesting the anthem. It’s a protest during the anthem.

And what these protests were all about, for the ten millionth time, was the epidemic of racially-motivated, indiscriminate police violence against people of color in this country. Something neither Trump or any member of his accursed extended family could possibly relate to or understand, but nevertheless something that Trump couldn’t resist demonizing to inflame the racists who voted for him.

As Chris Long, the Eagles’ defensive end, patiently explains, the ”very fine folks”(as Trump described them) who chanted, “One people, one nation, end immigration,” “Jews will not replace us,” “White lives matter,” and “Blood and soil” at the murderous “Unite the Right” pro-Trump rally in Charlottesville last year haven’t been forgotten, nor has this President who likened those same folks to members of some enthusiastic Rotary club:

“For me, being from Charlottesville, no one wants to see you sit idly by and watch that stuff happen and not say anything,” Long said in the aftermath of the deadly white-supremacist demonstration in his hometown. “And I wish there was more categorical denial from some very important people in this country who have had the opportunity to strike it down but didn’t.”

Long was the first Eagle to announce he had no interest in visiting a White House that spent the better part of last year sending out Tweets calling NFL players disloyal to the country for protesting the very type of racism that got him elected.

As pointed out by Margaret Hartmann, writing for New York Magazine, the list of Eagles players boycotting the customary visit to the White House is likely to grow considerably in the coming days.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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