Head coach Doug Pederson confirmed the Philadelphia Eagles will be accepting an invitation to visit the White House on June 5 in recognition of their Super Bowl LII victory over the New England Patriots.
“Well right now, obviously, June 5 is the day we’re going to go,” Pederson told reporters Thursday before the Eagles’ first practice of organized team activities. “I’m excited to be going to be honored as world champions. It’s a great honor. We’re still working through some logistics right now, so we don’t have all the details today, but excited to be going.”
The team’s final sequence of OTAs was originally set for June 4-7, so some tweaks to the schedule are expected.
Safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive end Chris Long and former wide receiver Torrey Smith — now with the Carolina Panthers — previously said that they won’t attend any such visit due to their opposition of President Donald Trump.
Jenkins told reporters last week that he will travel to Washington that day with his teammates but will not go to the White House.
“At this point, I’m not interested in any discussions on anything right now just with the climate that’s been going on in The White House,” Jenkins said. “From a team standpoint, some guys have dreamed, you know, of being able to win a championship and take a visit to The White House and we’re not trying to deny that to anybody.
“There’s also a lot of guys who feel passionate about not going and so you have to try to find a balance that’s fair for everybody.”
Pederson said Tuesday that it will be up to each player whether or not he chooses to attend.
“It’s an individual basis,” he said. “It’s one of those things that, again, we’re working through a ton of things, but at the same time we understand that it’s an individual decision.”
Quarterback Carson Wentz plans to be one of those in attendance, emphasizing the recognition of the Eagles’ championship achievement rather than any political aspect of the team visit.
“I know for me, personally, if the team decides as a whole, most guys want to go or be a part of it, I’ll be attending with them,” he told reporters Tuesday. “I think it’s just a cool way to receive the honor nationally and be recognized.
“I don’t personally view it — I know some people do and everyone has their opinion on it — but I don’t view it as a political thing whatsoever. I don’t mess with politics very often. But I will be involved in going. The rest of the details will be coming out soon.”
—Field Level Media