Malcolm Jenkins, Torrey Smith explain why they’ll decline White House invite
It has been confirmed that Chris Long, Torrey Smith and Malcolm Jenkins are among the players who will decline an invitation from the White House should one be extended in honor of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl LII victory.
Given the three Eagles are among the most socially active players in the NFL — not to mention how their political leanings don’t align with those held by a Donald Trump-led administration — it’s hardly a surprise.
Smith and Jenkins recently explained their motivation for opting to decline a potential White House invite.
“Going to the White House should be seen as an honor, and I believe it is an honor, but to me it has to be an honor with the right type of respect in office. I just don’t see it,” Smith said, via ESPN. “It’s not about politics; I just don’t think the president is a good person. I don’t want to go out of my way to go see someone who isn’t even welcoming the men in this locker room and our different cultures.”
Smith, Jenkins and Long were in Harrisburg last year to discuss criminal justice reforms with Pennsylvania state politicians, something Jenkins notes in his comments.
“Over the last two years, I’ve been meeting with legislators, both Republican and Democrat, it don’t matter. If you want to meet to talk about events in my community, changing the country, I’m all for that. But this isn’t one of those meetings, so I’ll opt out of the photo opportunity.”
The notion of accepting a White House invite has become a source of controversy in sports since President Donald Trump took office. Trump of course has played a signficant role in fostering such an environment.
That said, Smith insists the decision to attend a White House ceremony if an invitation is extended should be up to each individual player, saying, “I’m sure there are some guys who want that experience and they deserve to have that experience in my opinion.”