By Rickey Hampton, Editor and Founder of TheAfricanAmericanAthlete.com
The world champion Philadelphia Eagles will be making a team visit to the White House next week to celebrate their Super Bowl victory with the President of the United States. I really hope there is not a single Eagles player that boards that flight out of Philly to D.C. There is no honor in going to visit this president. He is a racist, a sexual assaulter, an adulterer, a pathological liar and a narcissist.
Other than that, he hasn’t a problem in the world. The very fact all of those things are easily provable should inspire every member of the Eagles to stay away, and not be part of this attempt to normalize the bizarre activities of this president, who wishes he was a dictator. Already, some members of the Eagles championship team _ Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long and Torrey Smith _ have said they have no intention of going.
I hope their teammates would follow suit. Follow the lead of the Warriors last season, when they made it clear they wanted nothing to do with visiting that man.
It is a chance to make a powerful statement against the exhibitionist hate, bigotry and lies eof the current president. And, yes, the Eagles’ black players carry a special responsibility, because the president has shown a special brand of hate towards people of color.
Now, these are grown men and they can do as they please, however, I can hope these gentlemen have a sense of history and understand that they stand on the shoulders of men and women who sacrificed their lives and careers for them to have the opportunities they have today. It was 50-years ago this summer (1968) when John Carlos and Tommy Smith stood up for justice and equality for black and poor people, and they paid a heavy price. Carlos, Smith and many other black athletes took on activist causes to enable today’s athletes to pursue their dreams relatively free of such restrictions.
However, the black athlete still shoulders a strong responsibility to speak out against injustice when it arises. In this case, there is an extraordinarily easy thing to do, and that is to stay away. Go play golf. Go to a movie. Hang out with the kids. Do some volunteer work in your community. Stay in bed all day and don’t do a damn thing. ANY of those choices are better than standing with the current president. Because, if you do, he will use your presence the first chance he gets. He is the most transactional, and manipulative president in the history of our country.
If the current president has his way, he would take us back to those times where black people were nothing more than second class citizens.
Really, how can any black man stand behind the current president knowing that? I understand there may be those who would like to visit the White House from a historical perspective. Please, sign up for a visit, or call your senator or congress-person to set you up with a visit. Stay away Eagles players.
This man is filled with hatred, and history is not going to remember him kindly. You are not going to want to be seen standing with that man. You are not going to want your legacy to be associated with that man in any form, shape or fashion.
It’s like what Long said last season when he turned down a visit to the White House with the Patriots: “(When) my son grows up — and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is — I don’t want him to say, ‘Hey Dad, why’d you go when you knew the right thing was to not go?’