The Philadelphia Eagles are set to celebrate their Super Bowl championship with a visit to the White House on June 5, but not every Eagle will make the trip.
The team had already welcomed the president’s invitation. “We are honored to receive this invitation and view this not only as an opportunity to be recognized for our on-field accomplishments but also as an opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with the leaders of our country,” the team said in April.
However, the team doesn’t necessarily speak for everyone.
Even before the president extended an invitation for the team to meet with him, several players said they did not want to attend any visit to the Trump White House.
Among the players who won’t be attending are anthem protester and Players Coalition leader Malcolm Jennings, who was particularly vehement about his decision to turn down an invitation to meet Donald Trump.
“I don’t want to take away from anybody’s experience or make it a big distraction. It is a celebratory event. I want the guys who chose to go to enjoy that. There are a lot of veterans who attend that, that are fans of ours, that want to enjoy it,” Jenkins told the paper. “Me personally, because it is not a meeting or a sit down or anything like that, I’m just not interested in the photo op. So I am choosing not to go for the photo op. Over the last two years I have been meeting with legislators, both republican and democrat. Don’t matter — if you wanna meet to talk about advancing our communities, changing our countries, I am all for that. This isn’t one of those meetings. So I’ll opt out of the photo opportunity.”
Chris Long, Torrey Smith, and Brandon Graham have also said they won’t attend, NJ Advance Media reported.
Other players seem non-committal at this point. Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox won’t commit one way or the other.
The lists will surely fill out as the appointed time nears.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.