Already, a growing list of Eagles are refusing a White House visit.

To many players, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue isn't what it used to be.

After his big win, Philadelphia's Malcolm Jenkins was asked if he plans on visiting the White House — an invite traditionally offered to the players of every Super Bowl-winning team.

Jenkins is part of the Players Coalition — an effort by NFL athletes to take action on systemic issues and injustices facing Americans of color. With a White House occupant who's railed against athletes protesting police brutality and urged fans to boycott the NFL, is Jenkins on board visiting 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

Malcolm Jenkins. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.


"No, I personally do not anticipate [going to the White House]," Jenkins answered on CNN's New Day on Feb. 5, which you can watch below.

"What message would you like to send to the president?" CNN's John Berman pressed the 30-year-old Eagles safety. "I don't have a message for the president," Jenkins responded.

He continued (emphasis added):

“My message has been clear all year. I’m about creating positive change in the communities that I come from — whether it be Philadelphia, New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana … I want to see changes in our criminal justice system, I want to see us pushing for economic and educational advancement in communities of color and low-income communities, and I want to see our relationships between our communities and our law enforcement be advanced. That’s what myself and my peers have been pushing for for the last two years, and that’s what I’ll continue to do."

Jenkins has joined a growing list of Eagles refusing to visit the White House with its current occupant in office.

Wide receiver Torrey Smith told reporters last week that, should the Eagles be fortunate enough to win the Super Bowl, he would not be going.

"We read the news just like everyone else," said Smith, noting that, while he understands some people may take offense to players protesting social injustice, their assumptions about the protests are flawed. "They call it the anthem protest — we're not protesting the anthem. It's a protest during the anthem."

Torrey Smith. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images.

Eagles defensive end Chris Long also dismissed a possible White House invitation last week on the podcast Pardon My Take. A vocal critic of Trump who refused to visit the White House last year when he played for the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots, Long made it clear that his opinion of the president hasn't budged much since last February.

"No, I'm not going to the White House," he said. "Are you kidding me?"

Chris Long. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

While Long hasn't protested the anthem personally, he has publicly supported the players who've done so.

"I play in a league that's 70% black, and my peers — guys I come to work with, guys I respect who are very socially aware and are intellectual guys," he told ESPN in 2016. "If they identify something that they think is worth putting their reputations on the line, creating controversy, I'm going to listen to those guys."

Maybe calling protesting players "sons of bitches" wasn't the best way to move the country forward on this issue after all, Mr. Trump.

So far, these Eagles players have said they're not going to the White House.

  • Chris Long
  • Torrey Smith
  • Malcolm Jenkins

This article may be updated.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

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Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

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Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

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In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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