The Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl Party Continues…But Not At The White House
Usually, when the NFL sees a Super Bowl champion, that winning team is invited to the White House. After the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl win earlier this year, the White House continued its tradition of inviting national championship winners to celebrate at our nation’s capital. However, the Eagles are the latest professional sports team to take a stand, and with much of the team passing on the invite. According to The Washington Post, “A senior administration official said the Eagles promised to have about 70 people there last week. By Monday, the team said only 10 to 12 people might come, this person said, creating a meager celebration.”
In response, less than 24 hours before the meeting, Donald Trump canceled the invitation. “The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country,” Trump said in a statement, issued by the press secretary.
Back in February, when asked by Don Lemon of CNN if he would attend a White House visit, the Eagles’ wide receiver Torrey Smith rejected the idea.
”For me, it’s not just about politics,” he said. “If I told you that I was invited to a party by an individual I believe is sexist or has no respect for women or I told you that this individual has said offensive things towards many minority groups.… this individual also called my peers and my friends [‘sons of b*tches’], you would understand why I wouldn’t want to go to that party. Why is it any different when the person has title of President of the United States?”
It has been reported since February that few of the Philadelphia Eagles’ team would visit the White House if invited. Players who rejected the notion of a White House visit included defensive end Chris Long and safety Malcolm Jenkins. In fact, Chris Long declined his invitation last year when he was played for the New England Patriots, in addition to LeGarrette Blount, who now also plays with the Eagles.
Last year, Trump withdrew an invitation to 2017 NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, after Trump blamed player Stephen Curry for hesitating. “Going to the White House is a considered a great honor for a championship team,” Trump tweeted at the time. “Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Instead, the Warriors took students to the African American Museum during their Washington, D.C. stop earlier this year.
President Donald Trump seems determined to silence protesting athletes who kneel during the “Star Spangled Banner,” to protest America’s handling of the Black lives lost at the hands of unpunished law enforcement. The NFL seems to agree that protesting the systematic oppression of Black people should not be visible during the National Anthem, as earlier this year, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that any team whose players do not stand up during the anthem and show respect for our flag will be fined.
While Trump dismisses this year’s Super Bowl winners, Senator Bob Casey has personally invited the Philadelphia Eagles to celebrate their victory with Congress.
I’m proud of what the @Eagles accomplished this year. I’m skipping this political stunt at the White House and just invited the Eagles to Congress. @Eagles How about a tour of the Capitol? https://t.co/niWR7zkSYx
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) June 4, 2018
Furthermore, Democrat and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has released a statement in response to Trump’s invitation cancellation. “Dis-inviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend,” Kenney said.
Regardless of the Eagles’ obvious rejection from/of the White House, Trump said he’s still holding a ceremony 3 pm Tuesday to “celebrate America.”