Eagles

President Donald Trump's latest comments put Eagles in tough spot

President Donald Trump's latest comments put Eagles in tough spot

While the NFL’s new national anthem policy has been met by plenty of opposition — including a few notable Eagles and former Eagles — President Donald Trump unsurprisingly likes the decision. 

In a video posted by Fox News this morning, Trump was asked about the new policy and said players who protest the anthem don’t belong in the NFL and “maybe” don’t belong in the country. 

These comments come less than two weeks before the Eagles’ scheduled celebratory visit to the White House, which puts the team in a tricky spot. 

“Well, I think that’s good,” Trump said to Fox & Friends. “I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still, I think it’s good. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem and the NFL owners did the right thing if that’s what they’ve done.”

From now until June 5, anything the president says will likely be of particular interest to the world champion Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have accepted an invite to the White House for June 5, head coach Doug Pederson confirmed earlier this week. 

While several key players, including Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long and Brandon Graham, have already said they won’t attend the visit to the White House, the team will apparently still visit. On Tuesday, team leader and franchise quarterback Carson Wentz said if the team was going, he would be attending. He said he didn’t view the trip to the White House as a political thing. And he likely isn’t the only player who is looking forward to the trip. 

But the accepted invite and comments from those players came before these latest remarks from Trump, in which he said about protesting players, “Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.” That likely won’t sit well with plenty of NFL players who either demonstrated during the national anthem or had teammates who did. 

You’ll remember in September of this last season, Trump set off a firestorm in the NFL, when he said about protesting players: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

Those comments were met with plenty of opposition from around the league. Many teams, including the Eagles, amped up some sort of protest during the playing of the national anthem. That Sunday, before the home game against the Giants, the entire Eagles team — including front office members, coaches and owner Jeffrey Lurie — stood on the sideline and locked arms. 

At the time, Lurie praised his players’ work in their communities and said he could attest to their great respect for the national anthem. After the most recent anthem policy was accepted, Lurie released a similar statement. While he didn’t address the actual policy or fines, he did say he was proud of players for “continuously working to influence positive change.” Lurie did, however, vote for the anthem policy. 

Lurie’s feeling about Trump are fairly well-known at this point. He donated money to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and reportedly called Trump’s presidency “disastrous,” according to the New York Times. 

All of this should make for an interesting day on June 5. 

Report: NFLPA board unanimously recommends to cancel entire preseason 

Report: NFLPA board unanimously recommends to cancel entire preseason 

Just two days after we learned the NFL’s plan to cut the 2020 preseason in half, the NFL Players Association is reportedly recommending that the league cancel the entire preseason. 

The NFLPA’s board of representatives voted unanimously on the recommendation, according to ESPN. 

On Wednesday, ProFootballTalk reported that the NFL was cutting the preseason in half because of the coronavirus pandemic, keeping Weeks 2 and 3 but eliminating Weeks 1 and 4. Other reports indicated that those preseason games would be pushed back later into August. 

If the Eagles end up playing the original Weeks 2 and 3 of their preseason schedule, they will face the Dolphins on the road and the Patriots at home. They were originally scheduled to be at Indianapolis in Week 1 and at home against the Jets in Week 4, but those games have already been canceled. 

The NFL is still planning for training camps to begin on July 28 with rookies and select vets allowed to report earlier. 

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said earlier this offseason that his team will need the entire five-to-six-week training camp to get ready for the 2020 season, especially after missing the entire spring workout schedule because of the pandemic. 

The Eagles are scheduled to begin their 2020 regular season in Washington on Sept. 13. 

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Redskins considering changing name amid rising pressure

Redskins considering changing name amid rising pressure

He said he would never do it.

"We'll never change the name of the team," Dan Snyder told USA Today in 2013. "It's that simple. Never. You can use caps."

Now, amid an increased national focus on racism and social justice and mounting pressure from million-dollar sponsors, his tune has suddenly changed.

The Redskins' owner said in a statement Friday that the franchise will review the team's name, seen by many as racist and offensive to Native Americans and others.

Protests against the Redskins' name and logo have been ongoing for decades, but when companies like FedEx and Nike join those protests, things can change very quickly.

Considering the growing pressure now on the franchise, it would be surprising at this point if the franchise elects not to change its name.

"In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team's name," the statement read. "This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has consistently supported Snyder's decision to keep the team name, released a statement saying only, "In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step."

FedEx, which paid $205 million for the naming rights for the Redskins' stadium in 1998, asked the Redskins earlier Friday to change the team name. And Nike, the NFL's official uniform supplier, on Thursday removed all Redskins gear from its website while continuing to allow customers to order merchandise from all 31 other teams.

In the statement released by the team, Snyder said: "This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field."

First-year Redskins head coach Ron Rivera, a former Eagles assistant coach and one of three Latin American head coaches in NFL history, indicated in the statement that he favors a name change.

"This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military."

The team's current name dates back 87 years.

The NFL Boston Braves franchise was founded in 1932 and one year later moved to Fenway Park, which it shared with the baseball franchise of the same name. To avoid confusion, owner George Preston Marshall changed the name to Redskins. The franchise moved to Washington in 1937 and kept the name.

Marshall, who owned the franchise until his death in 1969, refused to allow black players on the roster until 1962, which made the team the last in the NFL to integrate. 

Not until U.S. attorney general Robert F. Kennedy threatened to rescind the team's lease at city-owned RFK Stadium did Marshall finally allow the team's roster to be integrated.

Last month, team officials removed Marshall's name from the Redskins Ring of Honor at FedEx Field, and a statue of Marshall was removed from RFK Stadium by city officials after it was vandalized.

Protests against sports teams and logos perpetuating stereotypes of Native Americans and their culture have grown more widespread in recent years but have been held for decades.

In 1991 — nearly 30 years ago — there were organized protests against the Atlanta Braves and Redskins over their team names and logos, according to an Associated Press story. The story quoted Clyde Bellecourt, director of a group called the American Indian Movement, which organized protests outside Braves and Redskins games.

"It's a racist term," Bellecourt told the AP in October of 1991. "We're not thin-skinned, this just makes a mockery of uses a people and of our culture."

And now, it looks like the franchise is finally going to do something about it.

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