Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Eagles' Jenkins, Long, Smith to skip trip to White House

Predicting when Cowboys will first face off against Eagles in 2018 Predicting when Cowboys will first face off against Eagles in 2018
Patty Aguilar | 07 February, 2018, 00:47

Fresh off his Super Bowl win, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told CNN Monday that he intends to skip the Philadelphia Eagles upcoming visit to the White House to commemorate his team's victory.

Malcolm Jenkins said during an interview on CNN Monday that he'd skip it, to remain true to the causes of racial inequality he's protested in the past.

Asked if he has a message for Trump, Jenkins said, "My message has been clear all year ..."

"I want to see changes in our criminal justice system", he added. "And I want to see our relationships between our communities and our law enforcement be advanced".

Jenkins, a team leader and captain, has lead the team in their stance in protest of the U.S. criminal justice system, with the Eagles standing firmly in support of incarcerated Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill. The first National Football League team to visit the White House was the 1980 Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, who were invited by President Jimmy Carter as part of a dual ceremony with the World Series-winning Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Though that law now encompasses one major clarification: the definition of "circulating" has changed. Previously, the law was that if anyone is circulating in traffic, it is illegal to use a phone.

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"We read the news just like everyone else", Smith said. "That's what myself and my peers have been pushing for for the last two years and that's what I'll continue to do". "They call it the anthem protest", he said.

Long won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots past year and also declined to make the trip.

The boycott isn't exactly surprising, considering Trump and many NFL players butted heads over protests during the national anthem. "We're not protesting the anthem", said Smith, who also raised his fist on the field to express solidarity with the "Black Lives Matter" movement. "I'm not going to the White House".

There has always been precedent for athletes skipping championship commemorations at the White House; Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird once passed on a visit with president Ronald Reagan at the White House, saying, "If the president wants to see me, he knows where to find me".

Still, Trump congratulated the Eagles for their Super Bowl victory following the game Sunday night.

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