Eagles’ Chris Long is first Super Bowl player to say he won’t visit White House


Chris Long celebrates the Eagles’ win over the Vikings in the NFC championship game. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
It’s Super Bowl week, which means among other things that it’s time to ask players involved if they plan to accompany their team to the White House, should that team win it all. The Philadelphia Eagles’ Chris Long didn’t even wait until Monday’s media day to assert that, with President Trump in office, he would not want to make the trip.
“No, I’m not going to the White House,” Long said on the “Pardon My Take” podcast. “Are you kidding me?”
Long didn’t specify Trump as the reason he would decline an invitation to join the Eagles on a possible White House visit, but he didn’t have to, given his comments last year. At that time, Long was a member of the champion New England Patriots, with whom he will square off Sunday, and he joined several teammates in declining the trip, although not all for political reasons.
In an April video looking back at the Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl, Long said, “[When] my son grows up, and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is, I don’t want him to say, ‘Hey dad, why’d you go [to the White House] when you knew the right thing was to not go?’ ”
With Philadelphia this season, Long made shows of support for teammate Malcolm Jenkins when the latter was raising his fist during the national anthem, as part of the NFL players’ protests against racial injustice that were sharply criticized by Trump. “If you don’t see why you need allies for people that are fighting for equality right now, I don’t think you’ll ever see it,” Long said in August. “So my thing is, Malcolm is a leader, and I’m here to show support as a white athlete.”
Around that time, Long’s home town of Charlottesville, Va., was roiled by white nationalists, including a man who killed a woman and injured several other anti-bigotry protesters. Long was critical of Trump’s response, which included the president saying that there “were very fine people, on both sides” and being slow to specifically condemn racist activism.
“For me, being from Charlottesville, no one wants to see you sit idly by and watch that stuff happen and not say anything,” Long said then. “And I wish there was more categorical denial from some very important people in this country who have had the opportunity to strike it down but didn’t.”
In his own response to the events in Charlottesville, Long donated his first six weeks’ salary to fund scholarships there. The 32-year-old defensive end subsequently decided to donate the rest of this season’s game checks to charity, as well, earmarking them for organizations that support educational equity in Philadelphia, St. Louis and Boston, the NFL cities in which he has played.
When the Patriots visited the White House in April, quarterback Tom Brady, who had shown support for Trump in the past but said he wanted to spend that day with his family, was conspicuously absent. Later in the year, the NBA champion Golden State Warriors pointed to Trump as the reason they preferred not to make a White House trip.

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