PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - The head coach of the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles has confirmed the team’s plan to visit the White House and President Donald Trump next month.
On Tuesday, at the start of organized team activities, Doug Pederson announced the team would be heading to the nation’s capital on June 5. Pederson added that it would be up to individual players whether or not they attended the welcoming ceremony.
Quarterback Carson Wentz also discussed the visit on Tuesday saying he doesn't view it as a political thing. FOX 29's Kristen Rodgers says the third year QB will go to the White House if most of the guys on the team want to go.
Carson Wentz says for him personally if most of the guys want to go, he’ll go to the White House.— Kristen Rodgers (@KristenERodgers) May 22, 2018
Says the details are still coming out soon, but doesn’t view it as a political thing. @FOX29philly
Such visits have grabbed headlines in past years, with members of the New England Patriots boycotting the visit last year. The NBA’s Golden State Warriors had their invite rescinded by President Donald Trump after several players announced their intentions not to attend the visit.
Since the Eagles recorded the first Super Bowl win in franchise history, a number of players, and now former players, announced their intentions to skip the White House visit, should the team be invited.
Among the members of the team who discussed boycotts were safety Malcom Jenkins, wide receiver Torrey Smith, and defensive end Chris Long, who skipped the event last year as a member of the Patriots. Smith was traded to the Carolina Panthers earlier this year.
Jenkins told FOX 29 last week that he does not plan on going to the White House on June 5, but did plan on being in Washington D.C. with other teammates.
Long and Jenkins made headlines together multiple times earlier in the year after Jenkins raised a fist during the National Anthem in the beginning of the season. Eventually, Long stood by his side during the anthem with his arm around him in a show of support and unity.
Jenkins, a Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist, announced he would no longer raise his fist during the anthem in December in after the NFL and the Players’ Coalition made a tentative deal to fund social justice issues.
Jenkins, Smith, and Long were also active in the community and in working with the NFL and state lawmakers to discuss criminal justice reform.
Back in October, just hours after beating the Washington Redskins in a Monday night game, the trio took a train to Harrisburg to meet with state lawmakers.