Ever since the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII on February 4, the public has waited to see if President Trump would invite the team to the White House, and if so, whether the invitation would be accepted. On May 22, the wait was over as the Eagles accepted the invitation.
When they accepted, Head Coach Doug Pederson told media that the team wasn’t making it mandatory for players and coaches to attend. “We are excited to be going… At the same time, it’s an individual decision.” The team also released a statement (see below as shown on CBS3), that outlined their acceptance and their hope to engage in a productive dialogue during the visit.
However, the evening before the Eagles visit, the White House Office of the Press Secretary issued a statement that the event would be changed to celebrate the American Flag due to the lack of players planning to attend the event.
In response to the cancelled event the Philadelphia Eagles issued a statement on Twitter that didn’t address the cancelled event, but rather focused on how grateful they are to the community and are looking forward to next season.
On June 5, the day of the cancelled White House visit, the Eagles didn’t have media availability so they could focus on their OTA practice. On June 6, Pederson kicked off his press conference with a blanket response where his messaging focused on next season (as shown in the below video by philly.com).
Two of the Eagles’ most vocal players who never planned to attend the White House visit shared their thoughts after the visit was cancelled and Fox News used misleading images.
Malcolm Jenkins issued a statement via Twitter that outlined that his fight against social injustice continues, mentioning Fox’s use of improper images, and noted the work he and his teammates have done to make their communities better.
Chris Long didn’t address the visit, but did speak out on social media, along with Zach Ertz, about Fox using improper and misleading images, which resulted in a much needed apology by Fox News. Long, as reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, also video-chatted with New Jersey middle school students who donated to his nonprofit, Waterboys, which works to bring clean water to families in East Africa, to thank them for their work .
The Eagles as a team look forward to next season, while the players look to continue to stay true to themselves and share/fight for their beliefs.
Related Articles:Crisis, Eagles, messaging, PR
This post was written by Veronica Mikitka Reed