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Eagles players and officials made individual decisions to not go to the White House for a scheduled celebration of their Super Bowl title Stephen Anderson Jersey , leaving two players actually planning to make the trip to Washington before the visit was canceled by President Donald Trump, according to players and a person familiar with the arrangements.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because of the sensitivity of the issues.
All-Pro center Jason Kelce said players filled out forms anonymously indicating whether they wanted to go to the White House, not make the trip or go to Washington and do something else.
”It’s a little bit disappointing as a country right now that we’re so divided, I think that’s the bigger disappointment,” said Kelce, who became a folk hero in Philadelphia for an impassioned, profane rally speech he gave after a day of antics during the city’s Super Bowl parade.
The players did not urge a collective decision on what to do as a team, giving each player his own option of whether to take the trip.
Defensive end Chris Long, who skipped the trip last year when he was with the New England Patriots and again decided early to not attend, said he hopes athletes on championship teams in all sports won’t have to make the decision when Trump’s term is up for re-election in 2020.
”The players didn’t create this division (in the country),” Long said. ”I’m extremely proud to be part of this team.”
Safety Malcolm Jenkins Michael Palardy Jersey , an outspoken leader for social reforms, held up handwritten signs on issues important to him and other players instead of verbally answering questions.
”You aren’t listening,” one sign said. Another said that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick gave million to charity. Kaepernick began the wave of kneeling protests in the NFL as a way to protest racism and police brutality, and is working through a grievance case against the league after he was not signed by any team following his run with San Francisco.
Another sign by Jenkins read: ”More than 60 percent of people in prison are people of color.”
Coach Doug Pederson said before practice that he was looking forward to going to the White House to be recognized as Super Bowl champions but he wouldn’t further discuss details of the trip’s breakdown. He declined to provide information on how things escalated to the White House accusing players of abandoning their fans by deciding to not attend.
”What you’ve seen and what you’ve heard is enough. I’m not discussing it,” Pederson said. ”The team is great. We’re united. Our goal is 2018. It’s over. It’s behind us. We’re moving on.”
Trump rescinded his invitation late Monday and instead turned the ceremony for the Eagles on Tuesday into his own brief ”Celebration of America” after it became clear most players weren’t going to show up. Trump tied the dispute to his criticism of players who have kneeled during the national anthem, even though no Eagles players kneeled for the song during the 2017 season.
Also Wednesday, hockey player Devante Smith-Pelly said he would skip a White House visit if the Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup. Smith-Pelly, one of two black Capitals players, spoke about Trump to Canada’s Postmedia.
”The things that he spews are straight-up racist and sexist,” Smith-Pelly said with the Capitals a victory away from their first title. ”Some of the things he’s said are pretty gross. I’m not too into politics, so I don’t know all his other views Nick Martin Jersey , but his rhetoric I definitely don’t agree with. It hasn’t come up here, but I think I already have my mind made up.”
On Tuesday, NBA stars LeBron James and Curry both said they wouldn’t visit.
Eagles Tight end Zach Ertz wore a Team USA soccer jersey while answering questions and said he’s ”proud to be an American.”
”Everyone in this locker room understands that everyone’s heart is in the right place,” Ertz said. ”We weren’t going to let someone try and formulate an agenda. What’s unique about this locker room is that everyone’s treated with respect, people truly care about one another, people respect other people’s opinions. We’re united.”
Long took a shot at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for staying silent on the matter.
”If he doesn’t want to stand up for his players, that’s not my business,” Long said. ”I know my teammates are great men. There’s men of faith in this locker room. There’s men who serve their communities. There’s men who have a lot who give back to people with a lot less.”
Australia assistant coach and former NBA star Luc Longley has accused Philippines coach Chot Reyes of inciting the violence that marred a World Cup qualifying match between the teams on Monday.
The former Chicago Bulls player described the bench-clearing brawl which saw 13 players, including four Australians, ejected from the match as the worst thing he had seen on a basketball court.
Longley, who has been praised for his efforts to protect Australian player Chris Goulding from a large group of Philippines players Randy Gregory Jersey , said Reyes had called on his players during a time out to ”hit somebody, put somebody on their …”
Reyes has defended the comments, which were picked up by television microphones, as a routine instruction to his players to foul on fast breaks.
Speaking to media on Wednesday, Longley rejected Reyes’ comments and criticized the Philippines players for posing for a group selfie after the brawl had abated. Basketball Australia has sought to limit further comment on the brawl which is being investigated by world governing body FIBA.
But Longley was eager to speak, condemning what he called the ”gangster” behavior of some Philippines players.
”I do believe their coach Chot Reyes incited them to come out and thug us,” Longley said. ”There’s video evidence of that.
”Then he substituted a thug out there who took three or four cheap swings at (Goulding). This is out of the party line but I’m most disturbed with their head coach. I think he was embarrassed by the way his team was playing. I think he was embarrassed by the shape they were in. I think he was embarrassed by how they fought.
”He wouldn’t look me in the eye at the end of the game when I shook his hand. I think he was embarrassed and that’s where a lot of it came from. I’m upset with him more than anybody. To let his team take gangster selfies on the baseline after something like that, that shows a total lack of control and respect.”
Longley said he felt he had no choice but to come off the bench to defend Goulding when he saw the Australian pinned under a pile of Philippines players.
”Those are the sorts of images you hope you never see, one guy lying on the ground covering up his head and being kicked and beaten by the other team, players and officials and guys from the crowd,” he said. ”It was horrifying. I wasn’t supposed to come off the bench. It was really disturbing.
”I went onto the court to protect our guys James Burgess Jersey , with the idea of not hurting anyone, just putting my big body in the way.”
Basketball Australia was expected to make Goulding available to speak to reporters Wednesday but withdrew him, saying he would speak ”at a better time.”
Australian veteran Daniel Kickert who was seen to elbow a Philippines player in response to a foul on Goulding before the brawl erupted, described the violence as ”regrettable.”
”I was put in a position where I made an action that was unfortunate,” he said. ”I think I overstepped a little bit in my response to the escalation in the game.
”I’m going to let FIBA do everything they need to do and come to the answers they see fit.”
Australia coach Andrej Lemanis said he feared the brawl would make it more difficult to call on Australian NBA players for international duty.
NBA teams are often reluctant to release players as it is for the two FIBA windows, in June-July and September, that fall in the league’s off-season.
Two current NBA players, Milwaukee Bucks pair Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavadova, were on Australia’s roster for the match. Maker is facing a possible FIBA suspension after he attempted numerous fly-kicks on Filipino opponents.
”Obviously that’s one of the concerns … what it means generally in terms of players willingness to participate and put their hand up,” Lemanis said.
”We’ll see. Hopefully there’s good learnings out of this for everybody in terms of the safety and security required around the game.”Mitchell Robinson Jersey
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