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Eagles player takes bold stance on anthem protests, addresses White House visit

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Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long has already gone on the record with his plans for a White House visit with President Donald Trump.

In short, Long has no intention of visiting the White House if the Eagles win the Super Bowl.

And he has zero qualms about it, outright ripping the type of legacy that President Trump will leave and how that legacy will be remembered by Long’s son.

It turns out that Long is not alone among Philadelphia players with that view.

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Eagles starting receiver Torrey Smith is taking things one step further.

Not only does Smith not plan on visiting the White House in the event of a Super Bowl win, but he also felt compelled to go after people who dared to criticize players who protest during the national anthem, which would presumably include Trump.

“They call it the anthem protest. We’re not protesting the anthem. It’s a protest during the anthem,” Smith argued Wednesday via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com.

It seems that Smith is missing the greater point. Whether it’s an “anthem protest” or a “protest during the anthem,” many Americans find the mere act of protesting while the anthem is being played disrespectful. He’s trying to make a bold, but ultimately incorrect, distinction.

Do you agree with Torrey Smith?

Smith once called Trump “the most divisive person in this entire country” in a since-deleted tweet, per USA Today.

Although Smith said Wednesday, “I understand why people are mad, or may be offended when someone takes a knee,” he tried to spin his father’s military service as a way to justify players kneeling during the anthem.

“My father, when he dies, is going to be buried with an American flag draped around his casket, being that he served in the Army. … Also, there are soldiers that have issues going on right now, and they’re things that affect them,” the wide receiver said. “They’re things that affect my father. He understands both sides of the issue.”

The 29-year-old Smith was a 2011 second-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens. He won Super Bowl XLVII with Baltimore.

Smith did visit the White House after the Ravens’ Super Bowl win, opting to visit while Barack Obama was president.

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In 2015, the speedy receiver signed with the San Francisco 49ers. After two seasons there he signed with the Eagles this season.

“We read the news just like everyone else,” Smith said Wednesday via NJ.com.

It didn’t take him long to again turn his attention to Trump.

“You see Donald Trump tweet something. … We have those conversations in the locker room, just like everyone else does in the workplace,” Smith said. “We’re very informed about what goes on, and we’re trying to continue to educate ourselves. It’s pretty special to have a group like that of folks that aren’t just socially conscious, but folks who genuinely care about people and care about learning more.”

He added, “I’m not saying we’re right about everything, but we’re willing to figure out what is right. We’re willing to work with people to find the best way to move forward, because there are problems and we’re not shy about speaking up about them.”

Of course, if the Eagles, who are underdogs to the New England Patriots, don’t win Super Bowl LII, all of Smith’s pontificating will be a bit of a moot point.

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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.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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