May 23, 2018
The Philadelphia Eagles have returned to the practice field for OTA's, but not all of the team's fans are thrilled with the Super Bowl champs.
Earlier this month, head coach Doug Pederson confirmed the Eagles will accept the invitation to visit the White House and meet President Donald Trump, as is custom for the Super Bowl winner.
Defensive end Brandon Graham, the guy who came up with the most critical play in Super Bowl LII, is not among the Eagles who will be attending the White House visit next month. In an Instagram post that has since been removed, he published a letter he received from an angry fan in Bethlehem.
Dude from Bethlehem hates Eagles' Brandon Graham... pic.twitter.com/rNLyCjE7gd— LehighValleywithLove (@LVwithLove) May 22, 2018
Here's the transcript of the letter:
I always felt you were an all right regular guy. who loved America, but you have clearly shown your intense hatred toward America!
I am appalled that you and a couple of your a**hole team-mates are turning down an offer made by President Trump to visit our nations White House, as the Super Bowl Football Champions.
If I owned the Eagles Football Team every one of you would have been fired and released immediately when you decided not to visit Washington.
To say I am totally disappointed in your decision is tremendously understated. And as a result I am no longer a fan of yours.
It would be great news, to me, to see you let go from the team.
You have my complete and utter contempt.
Given the tense atmosphere surrounding NFL players kneeling for the national anthem, the Eagles have decided the best way to handle the celebratory White House visit would be to make it voluntary for players to attend.
Quarterback Carson Wentz confirmed this week that he'll likely be attending on June 5, telling reporters he viewed it as a "cool way to receive the honor nationally," rather than a political statement. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, a visible figure in the anthem protests, said he believes those who want to go should have the opportunity, but he personally doesn't see it as beneficial.
The letter to Graham was signed by Robert W. Kalman and included the man's phone number, address and an invitation for Graham to share its contents with his teammates.
Graham chose to share it with everyone and received a wave of support on social media.
Obviously, the "fan" was seeking to add turbulence to an already tempestuous pot. The "fan" is entitled to his opinion, but I can't understand why anyone would want to meet with that lying, racist, hateful man. Brandon Graham, I just became a die-hard fan🏈 https://t.co/LEFXU9itB7— Bonita (@Juniper2082) May 23, 2018
This "fan" is probably the same ass who would be mad if someone tried to force him to do something he didn't want to do...HYPOCRITE!— KT (@sloyoroll01973) May 23, 2018
Eagles DL Brandon Graham, not visiting White House, gets nasty fan mail: https://t.co/D6IWK3s70m via @AOL
Unbelivable , brandon graham is one of the most stand up good guys in the league.. Hes got every right to do what he believes is just.. Smh— EaglesNest365 (@EaglesNest365) May 22, 2018
Apparently I pass by this guys house on the way home from my hockey games... I may have to pay him a visit in my Brandon Graham Super Bowl LII jersey...— MORK ن 🦅💚🏈💍 (@Markatron55) May 23, 2018
Robert Kalman sounds like a grumpy old white man Republican. That is the first thing to come to mind. Honestly who cares what Brandon Graham wants to do? It does not mean he hates America— Joseph Botta Jr (@bottajr) May 22, 2018
The letter sent to Brandon Graham is pure trash. I feel bad that he had to receive that.— Patrick Griffin (@patrickdgriffin) May 22, 2018
Lively internet afternoon courtesy of Brandon Graham and some schmuck from Bethlehem— Your Mother (@JetGirl4) May 22, 2018
It also appears Kalman has a history of writing angry letters.
The NFL viewed political demonstrations by players with growing concern over the past year, particularly as some saw it contributing to a decline in viewership. League commissioner Roger Goodall announced a new policy on Wednesday that will result in fines for teams whose players refuse to stand, or otherwise remain off the field, during the national anthem.