It’s just one day after their historic first Super Bowl win, and the Philadelphia Eagles are already getting caught up in political controversy.
According to a report at a New Jersey news portal, at least three Eagles players have said they will boycott the tradition of the Super Bowl winners attending the White House and doing a news conference with the president.
Even before the invitations have been sent out, wide receiver Torrey Smith, defensive end Chris Long, and safety Malcolm Jenkins have said they will not meet with President Trump, NJ.com reported Monday.
Long, who also skipped last year’s invite when he was a member of the New England Patriots told the Pardon My Take podcast “are you kidding me?” when asked whether he’d take the White House trip if the Eagles won.
Long has said he does not want his children to be influenced by Mr. Trump in any way.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly attacked those NFL players who took a knee or sat during the national anthem and blamed the league for permitting it.
SEE ALSO: Stand-up team: No Philadelphia Eagles players knelt for national anthem in 2017
“We read the news just like everyone else,” Smith said last week.
Jenkins, who had raised his fist in a black-power salute during the national anthem told CNN that “I personally do not anticipate attending” a White House gathering with Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump sent out a congratulatory tweet when the Eagles clinched their 41-33 victory.
The Eagles also were one of just seven teams, notwithstanding Jenkins’ fist-raising, who didn’t have a single player kneel or sit this year, according to a study by Sports Pundit.