With less than 10 players scheduled to visit the White House today, Donald Trump canceled the Super Bowl Champion Eagles visit. The Eagles’ ownership has been very respectful and understanding of the feelings of the players. Owner Jeffrey Laurie has built a player-friendly environment that culminated in a Super Bowl last season and I’m pretty sure he does not want to disrupt the team chemistry.
Donald Trump and many other misguided Americans feel that the Black NFL players that decided to kneel or raise their fist during the National Anthem were being disrespectful to the flag. The entire movement was to bring attention to the senseless police violence against people of color; from the killing of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and many other unnamed victims. As usual, Trump has decided to stoke the fires of his “Make America Great Again” base by portraying Black NFL players as entitled and spoiled millionaires. This is so far from the truth that I have a hard time believing that people are falling for that nonsense. In many ways, I think it is a way for Trump supporters to rationalize their hatred and disdain for Black people by hiding behind the flag.
The message was sent, and I, as a Black man, would not feel comfortable attending the White House dog and pony show and allow Trump to twist the narrative to infer that he made them come and respect the flag like good boys. I applaud the players and the Eagles management for doing what is right and allowing the players to make the call. Even though the players are employees, they still have rights and freedoms that they can assert.