Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Chris Long says he won’t visit the White House if the Eagles win the Super Bowl, telling a sports podcast that he doesn’t want to set a bad precedent for his young son.
As Sports Illustrated reports, Long was being interviewed by the Pardon My Take podcast Sunday night when the question of visiting the White House came up. For nearly a century, sports teams who win major championships have traditionally met with the president at the White House following their victory. When asked if he would make the traditional visit if his Eagles won Super Bowl LII, Long made his feelings on the matter quite clear.
“No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?”
In fact, any reporter familiar with Long’s career could have anticipated Long’s response to that question. Last year, Long was with the New England Patriots, who won Super Bowl LI. The following April, the Patriots visited the White House, according to tradition. Long skipped the visit.
At the time, Long said that going to the White House would set a bad precedent for his young son.
“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?'”
Eagles DE Chris Long was asked if he’d visit the White House if the Birds win the Super Bowl.
“Are you kidding me?,” he said. https://t.co/MeLG0fMudL
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 29, 2018
What’s more, Long has been critical of Trump, both on the field and on social media. He famously put his arm around teammate Malcolm Jenkins as he (Jenkins) knelt during the playing of the national anthem (Long himself remained standing). He’s also been clear about his feelings on Trump on Twitter.
Hate to have to qualify a tweet by saying I’m anti-Trump but ppl getting partisan Re: #MOAB quoting bad figures annoy me. Go head, fry me.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) April 14, 2017
In fact, Donald Trump has been snubbed by professional athletes more than once during his presidency. Following their 2016 World Series win, the Chicago Cubs quickly switched their schedules around so they could meet with Barack Obama before he left office the following January, rather than meet with Trump, as the Chicago Sun-Times reported at the time. Similarly, when the Cubs had an unofficial meet & greet with the president the following June, about half of the team skipped the meeting.
According to ABC News, the first athletes to be hosted at the White House were the Brooklyn Atlantics and Washington Nationals, two amateur baseball clubs that met with then-president Andrew Jackson in 1865.