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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.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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It can be hard to find hope in hard times, but we have examples of humanity all around us.

I almost didn't create this post this week.

As the U.S. reels from yet another horrendous school massacre, barely on the heels of the Buffalo grocery store shooting and the Laguna Woods church shooting reminding us that gun violence follows us everywhere in this country, I find myself in a familiar state of anger and grief and frustration. One time would be too much. Every time, it's too much. And yet it keeps happening over and over and over again.

I've written article after article about gun violence. I've engaged in every debate under the sun. I've joined advocacy groups, written to lawmakers, donated to organizations trying to stop the carnage, and here we are again. Round and round we go.

It's hard not to lose hope. It would be easy to let the fuming rage consume every bit of joy and calm and light that we so desperately want and need. But we have to find a balance.

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