Several New England Players Announce They Are NOT Going to Trump’s White House Super Bowl Event
February 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
From a reader:
Every year the team that wins the National Football League (NFL) Super Bowl is invited to the White House for a ceremonial event hosted by the president. This year a growing number of this year’s champion, the New England Patriots, are refusing (or “declining”) to attend the Trump White House event.
There are six New England players so far who have announced publicly that they are not going: Chris Long, defensive end; LeGarrette Blount, running back; Alan Branch, defensive tackle; and Dont’a Hightower, linebacker, have now joined Devin McCourty, defensive back, and Martellus Bennett, tight end, who announced earlier last week that they would boycott the Trump White House event.
In explaining his decision, Devin McCourty said, “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices, I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”
Martellus Bennett is an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, and he had called out Kanye West for meeting with Trump in December.
Chris Long, the son of former Oakland Raider Howie Long, had supported Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem before football games, saying, “When somebody takes a stand, I think that a white player like me, who has a certain privilege, I should listen and support that expression.... These (African American football players) are smart, articulate guys that are thoughtful and are socially aware. So if they think there’s something going on that’s worth standing up for, I think the best thing we can do is listen to each other.”
While not all the New England players who said they are not going to the White House event are expressing open political opposition to Trump/Pence, their decision is being widely seen as such—and several others are currently considering joining the boycott. It was also noticeable that several players and staff gave a “thumbs up” to a large NO! poster from RefuseFascism.org that someone held up at the Patriots’ victory parade held in downtown Boston.
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