BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — We won’t know who wins Super Bowl LII until Sunday night, but Eagles defensive end Chris Long said he wouldn’t attend a celebration at the White House, if an invitation came.
Traditionally, the White House sends out an invitation to a pro or college sports champion to celebrate. In the last year, several players, in various sports, said they would not attend such a ceremony as a protest to President Trump’s politics.
Long, who played for the Patriots last season, didn’t attend a White House ceremony honoring their championship.
“I didn’t go last year, so I don’t know why people were so shocked,” Long said Wednesday. “It’s not a big deal. I don’t expect anybody to think it was a big deal. I don’t expect anybody to care what I think. I don’t care what you think, let me care what I think. I want to go play a football game.”
The Eagles have been a socially conscious team led by safety Malcolm Jenkins, who raised a fist during the national anthem to make people aware of police brutality and other social ills. Jenkins, along with 49ers safety Eric Reid, formed the Players Coalition to represent players who want to discuss social issues with NFL owners. The Players Coalition has prompted several NFL teams to do things in their local communities.
Jenkins wasn’t sure if he would attend a White House ceremony if invited.
“I’m worried about getting this win first,” he said, “and we’ll make travel plans later.”