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May 22, 2018

Carson Wentz on White House visit: 'I don't view it as a political thing whatsoever'

Eagles NFL
020618-CarsonWentzJefferyLurie-USAToday Winslow Townson/USA Today

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz hugs Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie after defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Eagles made a lot of headlines last season — many of them as they redefined the role of being underdogs en route to their first ever Super Bowl title.

But many headlines also came off the field, as Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long and others in the locker room took the lead as player-activists during the regular season. Jenkins famously held his fist in the air in protest during the National Anthem, looking to raise awareness for issues that may have cost Colin Kaepernick his job. He, Long and others have been outspoken critics of President Donald Trump and it is likely that on June 5 a contingent of Eagles will be skipping the traditional White House celebratory visit.

Eagles' quarterback Carson Wentz probably won't be among them.

"Obviously it's been kind of leaked out there that we will be going," Wentz said Tuesday as he addressed the media ahead of the start of OTAs. "The details aren't fully available yet but I know for me personally if the team as a whole decides they want to be a part of it, I will be attending. I think it's a cool way to receive the honor nationally and be recognized."

Even the Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie has recently been quoted speaking out against Trump — but amid a culture that has allowed social activism and conservative principles to thrive, Eagles players seem to respect one another's opinions on the matter.

"There is so much that has been swirling around that administration, I don't see it as beneficial at this moment in time to visit in a celebratory fashion," Jenkins said Thursday. "I know for a fact there are guys who have dreamt of the opportunity to go to the White House and I think they should have that opportunity." 

Philadelphia's head coach Doug Pederson agrees, saying whatever each players wants to do is okay with him.

"It's an individual basis," he said. "We are working through a ton of things but at the end of the day, it's an individual decision."

Wentz understands the controversy involved with anything Trump, but seems not to be endorsing the president's views. Instead, he is embracing the opportunity to be honored like every preceeding Super Bowl winning team.

"I don't personally view it as a political thing whatsoever," Wentz said. "I don't really mess with politics very often but I will be involved in going."


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