Athletes around the country despise the fact that President Trump is leading the nation.
Not only have championship players skipped the traditional visit to the White House, but also the entire Golden State Warriors team.
And now that the Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions, one NFL legend had some strong words for those that are refusing to go.
Three-time Dallas Cowboys’ Super Bowl Champion Michael Irvin was one of the best receivers in the NFL during the 1990’s.
Post-NFL career, he became a broadcaster for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, and then an analyst for the NFL Network, while occasionally appearing on ESPN’s First Take.
During a recent interview with TMZ sports, Irving was asked about his thoughts on some of the Eagles’ players skipping the White House visit.
He is not a fan of the trend.
“NFL Hall of Famer and analyst Michael Irvin said he hated that professional athletes were skipping the White House after winning the championship in their sport and hopes that they will put their politics aside and get back to the tradition.
“I hate that we’re at that place,” Irvin told TMZ Sports.
He continued, “I love the tradition of going to see, what was then at least, the most powerful man in the world because you were the most powerful team in your sport, you know what I’m saying? Hopefully, we can get back to that, if not this president’s term, maybe the next.”
The legendary wide receiver added that it is an “honor” to be able to visit the White House, but said politics allows people to express their opinions so players have the right to not go.”
Michael Irvin says it’s a damn shame some Eagles are boycotting Trump’s White House https://t.co/iBu92tJxgC
— TMZ (@TMZ) April 10, 2018
Here are some of the biggest names skipping the White House:
“My message has been clear all year … I want to see changes in our criminal justice system,” Malcolm Jenkins told ESPN. “I want to see us push for economical and educational advancement in communities of color and low-income communities. And I want to see our relationship between our communities and our law enforcement be advanced.”
Jenkins raised his fist in protest during the national anthem throughout much of the 2017 season.
Before the Eagles’ Super Bowl win, star defensive end Chris Long emphatically told “Pardon My Take” podcast that he would skip the visit.Last year, as a New England Patriot, Long was among several players who skipped the White House.
Prior to the biggest game of the year, wide receiver Torrey Smith also vowed to skip the White House visit. He even audaciously told reporters that players pay attention to Trump’s tweets and other news.
“We’re very informed about what goes on, and we’re trying to continue to educate ourselves,” Smith said, according to NJ.com. “It’s pretty special to have a group like that of folks that aren’t just socially conscious, but folks who genuinely care about people and care about learning more.”
When it comes to the protests, Smith has stressed that players are “not protesting the anthem,” but instead engaging in a “protest during the anthem. I understand why people are mad or may be offended when someone takes a knee,” he said.
Torrey Smith also claims that “plenty” of Eagles won’t be visiting the White House.