Almost immediately after Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, the focus shifted to one question: Who won’t be going to the White House?
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Wide receiver Torrey Smith, defensive end Chris Long and safety Malcolm Jenkins, we learned, will all not be visiting the White House.
While Jenkins’ said he won’t go because he “[doesn’t] have a message for the president” and that his “message has been clear all year,” Smith was even more direct, with a condemnation of President Donald Trump and praise of Colin Kaepernick.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver and Super Bowl champion @TorreySmithWR says he won't visit the White House: "I respect the office … It's not about choosing sides, it's about simply right and wrong" pic.twitter.com/K9eHKZNwY3
— Don Lemon Tonight (@DonLemonTonight) February 7, 2018
Smith said he wouldn’t go the White House for the very same reason he wouldn’t attend a party if he was invited by someone he perceives as “sexist,” “offensive […] towards many minority groups” or calls his “peers and friends SOBs.”
“For me, it’s not just about politics. If I told you that I was invited to a party by an individual I believe is sexist or has no respect for women or I told you that this individual has said offensive things towards many minority group,” he said. “This individual also called my peers and my friends SOB’s, you would understand why I wouldn’t want to go to that party. Why is it any different when the person has title of President of the United States?”
Later in the interview, Smith called Colin Kaepernick a “legend.”
Kaepernick began the protests during the national anthem that incited President Trump’s ire, culminating in the “get that son of a bitch off the field right now” comment during a speech in Alabama, which Smith referenced.
“I have a lot of respect for him. You know, Colin Kaepernick is a person that history is going to look back on like he’s a legend,” Smith said. “He’s a legend to me and I’ll have his back any day of the week.”