Eagles coach breaks silence after WH fiasco - 'I was looking forward to it'


Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson made his first public comments after his team was uninvited from the White House for the typical champions’ visit.

“This is going to be a blanket statement, and then I’m not going to discuss it further,” Pederson said during a Wednesday morning press conference.

“I was looking forward to going down, obviously,” he said. “We did something last season that was very special. It’s a milestone here in the city of Philadelphia, our organization, and I was looking forward to going down and being recognized as world champions.

“It is what it is. We’re here today, got an OTA practice. I’m focused on these next couple days, getting through next week and onto training camp. That’s where we’re at.”

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Of course, the reporters didn’t oblige Pederson’s “I’m not going to discuss it further” comment and pestered him about the issue.

They asked him about White House press secretary Sarah Sanders’ statement about the Eagles’ “lack of good faith.

“That’s fine,” Pederson said when reminded of those remarks. “I’m not discussing it. It’s over. What you’ve seen and what you’ve heard is enough.”

Despite the badgering by reporters over a topic he didn’t seem keen to talk about, Pederson still found time to joke around.

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“Glad to see so many people for an OTA practice,” he said at the start of the press conference. “This is great. Welcome.”

In lieu of the White House visit, the Eagles held an extra OTA practice. The press conference was massive by that standard: Several national media outlets were present.

Reporters also asked Pederson whether he thought the tradition of White House visits should be abolished altogether.

“I was looking forward to it. Listen, you win a world championship or an NCAA title or anything, you want to be recognized that way,” he said. “I think it’s great. But I’m not going to speak for other teams. I was looking forward to it.”

The issue between the Trump administration and the Eagles was sparked late Monday when the White House abruptly canceled the Tuesday visit. In its place, the White House held a “Celebration of America.”

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A major impetus for the decision was the small contingency of team representatives that planned on going. Sanders had noted that nearly 81 Eagles players and staffers RSVP’d for the event, but that crowd shrunk to 10 or so representatives. ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reported that nearly all of the black players on the Eagles did not plan to attend.

ESPN also reported that the group of Eagles representatives who did plan to attend included team owner Jeffrey Lurie, Pederson and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.

Trump’s “Celebration of America” was not without controversy, however.

As of this writing, neither President Trump nor the White House has commented on what happened during the celebration.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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