By Steve Kelly
The Super Bowl champion Eagles have been invited to visit the White House on June 5, according to 6ABC. The exact details and timing are still being arranged.
Last month, it was reported the Eagles received the invitation, but no date was announced.
“We have been in contact with White House representatives and are currently discussing the logistics of an upcoming visit to Washington,” the Eagles told ESPN through a team spokesman. “We are honored to receive this invitation and view this not only as an opportunity to be recognized for our on-field achievements, but also as an opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with the leaders of our country.”
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive end Chris Long, and former wide receiver Torrey Smith, now with the Carolina Panthers, were among those who said they would decline the invitation should President Donald Trump offer one.
Jenkins, Long and Smith have been three of the NFL’s most active players in working for social change. All three are members of the Players Coalition, which partnered with the NFL on an initiative in which the league will contribute $89 million over seven years to projects dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education.
“I don’t want to take away from anybody’s experience or make it a big distraction. It’s a celebratory event, and I want the guys who choose to go or whatever to enjoy that,” Jenkins said of a White House visit. “Me personally, because it’s not a meeting or a sit-down or anything like that, I’m just not interested in the photo op.”
“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.”