Players Vowing To Skip White House Visit Already, Even Though Super Bowl Hasn't Happened Yet

Super Bowl LII doesn't start until Sunday, but already some players are taking pot shots at President Donald Trump. One Philadelphia Eagle says that if his team does win the Super Bowl, he won't be accepting any invitations from the White House.

Many NFL players have grudges against the president after he stirred controversy over 'take a knee' protests.

Chris Long, the defensive end for the Eagles, was asked on the podcast 'Barstool Sports' if he'll be visiting the White House this year should his team emerge victorious. Long was on the New England Patriots last year, and when the team won, he was one of several players who declined the invitation after the Super Bowl.

Apparently, Long will be skipping again. When asked, he responded, "No, I’m not going to the White House.... Are you kidding me?”

President Trump created a lot of tension within the NFL because of his taking a stand on the issue of taking a knee. After San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick got national praise for his silent protest of the National Anthem because of police brutality against black people, many other players began following in the quarterback's footsteps.

During a rally, Trump criticized the NFL and said players who took a knee during the national anthem should be fired.

Trump's comments caused even more players to join together in solidarity in taking a knee, and the NFL expressed a player's right to protest. This deepened the rift with fans who were opposed to allowing players to protest on the job.

Many fans felt that the protest was disrespectful and that it was politicizing the game. Viewership of the NFL has been in rapid decline due to the controversial issue.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, also took a stand by walking out of an Indianapolis Colts game when players kneeled during the anthem. Many called the walk-out a staged stunt and bemoaned the fact that it cost $200,000 to transport the VP and his wife to the game just so he could walk out.

Most of the players express support for their fellow NFL members to kneel or stand as they choose. Long has not taken a knee himself, but he's put his arm around teammates who chose to kneel.

After skipping a chance to meet President Trump last year, Long explained his feelings in a video by Green Stripe News.

"(When) my son grows up - and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is - I don’t want him to say, 'Hey Dad, why’d you go when you knew the right thing was to not go?'" Long said.

His feelings have apparently not changed.

The player is from Charlottesville, Va., where rallies between extremist political groups clashed last summer resulting in one woman's death. Long donated his entire 2017 salary to programs in his hometown that support educational equality.

He also founded the 'Waterboys foundation', a foundation that helps provide clean water to suffering, impoverished communities in Africa.

Super Bowl LII will be played at the U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN on Sunday at 6:30 pm EST. The Eagles will square off against the 2017 league champs, the New England Patriots.

Source: The Hill, Washington Press
Photo: Occupy Democrats/Facebook, YouTube

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