Coming off their first Super Bowl win in franchise history, the Philadelphia Eagles, as is customary, have been invited to visit the White House.
With organized team activities underway on Tuesday, Eagles coach Doug Pederson confirmed to reporters that the team will make the trip to Washington on June 5 to be honored by President Donald Trump.
But some players, including defensive end (and Super Bowl hero) Brandon Graham, have already publicly stated that they do not plan on making the trip. That caught the ire of one Eagles fan, who felt compelled to send a letter to Graham at the Eagles facility.
Graham shared it on his Instagram story.
As you can see, the fan, in the letter dated April 25, was extremely upset with Graham’s decision.
“I always felt you are an all right regular guy, who loved America, but you have clearly shown your intense hatred towards America!” the fan wrote. “I am appalled that you and a couple of your a–hole teammates are turning down an offer made by President Trump to visit our nations White House, as the Super Bowl Football Champions”
The fan says if he owned the Eagles, he would cut any player, including Graham, who decides not to go to the White House.
“To say I am totally disappointed in your decision is tremendously understated. And as a result I am no longer a fan of yours. It would be great news, to me, to see you let go from the team,” he wrote.
The fan then added a handwritten piece, suggesting Graham share the note with his teammates so they “know how a long time Eagle fan feels about you miserable bastards.”
Graham was asked about the White House visit and whether he would attend the ceremony in an interview with 94WIP last month.
“Well, right now, I haven’t talked to anybody, but, you know, I’m sure we’ll all start talking about it as we get close, but as of right now, I won’t be there,” Graham said April 24 (via PennLive.com). “I’m going to be just here enjoying, waiting on the ring ceremony. Can’t wait to look at the ring, and once we figure everything out, they’ll see what they’re going to do. But right now I haven’t talked to anybody about it. I’m going to relax and enjoy this ring ceremony, whenever that is. That’s what I’m more focused on right now.”
Pederson said players can make individual decisions whether or not they attend.
“Excited to be going, be honored as world champions. I think it’s a great honor” Pederson said. “It’s [on] an individual basis. It’s one of those things, we’re working through a ton of things, but we understand it’s an individual decision.”
The Eagles were one of the most politically active teams in the NFL last season. Safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive lineman Chris Long were two of the team’s most outspoken players. Those two, plus wide receiver Torrey Smith (who was traded to the Carolina Panthers), will not attend.
Last September, President Trump did not speak kindly of players who protested social injustices by kneeling during the national anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’ You know, some owner is going to do that,” Trump said at a rally. “He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
Those comments sparked more protests across the NFL. It’s a subject the league’s owners are discussing this week.
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