Updated May 18
More than three months post-Super Bowl win, It’s official. The Eagles have been invited to the White House on June 5.
The set date comes about a month after the White House confirmed it was planning a visit. Other logistics, like the exact time and the details of the visit are still up in the air. A reporter for the NFL noted that the date falls in the middle of Philly’s “organized team activities” — aka the mini training camp teams can hold during the offseason. It is scheduled for June 4 to 7.
An Eagles spokesperson told ESPN the team considers the invitation an honor, “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.”
Despite that account, the entire team isn’t necessarily excited about the official invite. Ever since February’s victory, various Eagles players have expressed disinterest in visiting the White House. In fact, some have sworn they won’t go.
Players cited various reasons for their refusal — in particular, President Trump’s controversial race relations and his recommendation to the NFL to fire players who took a knee during the national anthem.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is also apparently not the biggest fan. In a private NFL meeting last year, Lurie allegedly called Trump “disastrous.”
“Many of us have no interest in supporting President Trump,” Lurie said in a recording of the meeting obtained by the New York Times. “Yes, there are some. There are some players who do, too…. But this is not where you brandish a group of people, because they own assets in a sport we love, supporting what many of us perceive as, you know, one disastrous presidency.”
Here’s a rundown of the players you won’t see in the Oval Office in June (and the ones who aren’t so sure).
Chris Long, defensive end
“No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?” Long told the “Pardon My Take” podcast in January, before the Eagles’ Super Bowl win.
LaGarrette Blount, running back
“I just don’t feel welcome into that house. I’m just gonna leave it at that,” said Blount on “The Rich Eisen Show” last year. The running back — recently traded to the Detroit Lions — will miss a WH visit for the second year in a row, after skipping last year when he won the Super Bowl with the Patriots.
Brandon Graham, defensive end
“As of right now, I won’t be there,” Graham said on 94WIP in April.
Malcolm Jenkins, safety
“I don’t have a message for the president. My message has been clear all year. I’m about creating positive change in the communities that I come from,” Jenkins told ABC in February. The Eagles’ safety said this week that he’ll make the trip to Washington, D.C. with the team, but won’t visit the White House.
Torrey Smith, wide receiver
“Going to the White House should be seen as an honor, and I believe it is an honor, but to me it has to be an honor with the right type of respect in office. I just don’t see it,” Smith said in February.
Danell Elerbe, linebacker
“”Me personally, I wouldn’t go,” Ellerbe told TMZ on video at the end of April. The current free agent, who got a chance to visit Barack Obama when the Ravens won in 2012, added: “I’ve already been before.”
Alongside those players who already committed to skipping the White House visit, there are some who are a little unsure. A couple Eagles declined to officially comment whether they’d be at the June meeting — we’ll just have to stay tuned.
Jason Kelce, center
“I don’t know that I want to discuss politics or anything like that,” Kelce told reporters from NJ.com in April. “I’m just here to discuss football. I’ll leave that up to other people that want to make those decisions.”
Fletcher Cox, defensive tackle
“I think the main thing for me today is I’m here to talk about football and not worry about what’s going on with that,” Cox told NJ.com last month.