THE EAGLES, THE PRESIDENT, A WHOLE LOT OF UNNECESSARY SHENANIGANS, AND A GIGANTIC DOUBLE STANDARD
The Philadelphis Eagles will be having a practice today instead of going to the White House to meet the president.
We can deconstruct the reasons, but the basic story here is that only 11 members of the team were going to show up, so President Trump decided, much like a comedian or musician who does not sell enough tickets in advance, to cancel the event.
This marks the second major championship team not to visit the White House, with the other being last year’s Golden State Warriors team that won the NBA title.
Personally, I think this entire story is silly for so many reasons.
Members of the Eagles have every right to decide they do not wish to visit the White House, but it is merely a tradition and a rare oppportunity that signifies reaching the abolute pinacle of your sport. I will never agree with not attending regardless of whatever major disagreements one has with the president.
As for the president, he should have just gone ahead with the visit, anyway. Let the members of the team who do not want to be there skip it, but depriving the members of the team who worked so hard to achieve that honor and wanted to attend the chance to visit the White House out of spite for something they had nothing to do with seems childish and petty.
But let’s also not pretend there is not a double standard here and that these players skipping the White House visit would not have been treated very differently by the press if they were doing it to President Obama, even if they had very principled disagreements with the man.
In fact, I do not even have to make this theoretical. Here is some of the commentary from when Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas did exactly what I just mentioned.
From ESPN, “ When the president of the United States invites you and all your teammates to the White House to honor your Stanley Cup championship, you go and represent the team.”
From Bleacher report, “ Now, if Thomas was a real man, he would have gone to the Boston Bruins management and ownership, returned the money from his contract and quit the balance of it by retiring–so he could exercise his rights as a free citizen.”
From SI, “ Thomas was wrong not because he holds those particular views on the government. He is certainly entitled to them. That is his legal right — one of the things that is truly great about this country. Not every nation is so fortunate. But Thomas went wrong when he decided to use this particular time and place to exercise his right.”
From U.S. News and World Report, “ TIM THOMAS’S RECENT, very public White House snub is not just tiresome or sanctimonious or overwrought (though it is). It underscored a distressing trend in this country: people have lost the ability to distinguish between speaking truth to power and just being a jerk.”
There are many more examples, but I think you get the point.
Funny how I do not see any of those same publications calling out members of the Eagles — or members of the Warriors last year — for doing the exact same thing, but with a different president.
Again, the Eagles players had the right to do this, even if I do not agree with them.
And the president had the right to cancel, even if I do not agree with him.
But all of the sudden, a whole lot of people who thought Tim Thomas was a jerk have nothing to say about players who are doing the exact same thing but to a different president.
And vice versa.
I guess the person who made out the worst here was Tim Thomas himself.
He could have been the toast of the sports media if only he had waited a few more years to snub the person in the White House.