Not sticking to sports, Charlottesville native Chris Long feels responsibility to speak out

Not sticking to sports, Charlottesville native Chris Long feels responsibility to speak out

Eagles defensive end Chris Long is from Charlottesville, Virginia. It's where he went to high school and college. He feels a responsibility to speak out about the crisis in his hometown. 

And he’s not sticking to sports.

On Saturday, the 32-year-old spoke out publicly, via Twitter, against the white nationalists holding the rally and President Donald Trump's response, which condemned "violence on many sides." 

"Some people are tired of hearing me tweet because they want me to stick to football but I like to use social media like I was a regular guy because I think I am," Long said Sunday. "I don't tell people to stick to their job when they want to talk politics. And this isn't political. That's the thing. Everybody is trying to turn this political. This isn't a political issue. This is right or wrong. I believe you're on one side or the other. For me, being from Charlottesville, no one wants to see you sit idly by and watch that stuff happen and not say anything. And I wish there was more categorical denial from some very important people in this country who have had the opportunity to strike it down but didn't."

Long, who went to St. Anne's-Belfield School before attending the University of Virginia — both in Charlottesville — said he'd "be willing to bet that the vast majority of people voicing those white supremacist sentiments were from out of town." 

He thinks the majority of the folks trying to stop them were either from the town or students. 

"So it's disheartening but I really think it's desperation for those folks that feel threatened by us doing the right thing," he said.  

The "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville began when the decision was made to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. The rally was met by counter-protesters and the scene turned extremely violent. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. 

Long said he is "all for free speech" but said he finds those opinions to be "despicable." 

Football has given Long a chance to perhaps see the world differently than he ever would have. He spoke Sunday about how much the locker room has molded him. 

"I wish everybody would have a chance to be on a team," he said. "I really do believe, it might be cliché, but we come from a lot of different walks of life and backgrounds and I've played with a lot of guys I probably would have never met in other walks of life. We sit here in a bubble in a really positive way. I wish the rest of the world could be on a team. I know that sounds kind of cliché but we get to really be exposed to each other's different cultures, different ways of life and the way we look at different things. And I think that's the really cool thing about being on a team."

Top Eagles storylines heading into 2019 OTAs

Top Eagles storylines heading into 2019 OTAs

This time last year, the Eagles were getting back on the field after a shorter-than-usual offseason. They’d prefer if that were the case again. 

In any case, Tuesday will mark the beginning of the start of the 2019 season. These OTAs are voluntary but teams usually get near-perfect attendance. Here are 10 non-rookies with something to prove (see story)

This year, Eagles OTAs are May 21-23, May 28, May 30-31, June 3-6, followed by the mandatory minicamp June 11-13. 

Here are some key storylines: 

Health of Wentz 
This biggest storyline surrounding the Eagles right now is pretty obvious. Carson Wentz will reportedly be without limitations at OTAs. That great news came out Monday. Less than two weeks ago, Doug Pederson didn’t want to say whether or not Wentz would be on the field to start OTAs. Turns out he will be. Now, we need to see how much he'll do. 

This time last year, Wentz missed the entirety of spring practices as he recovered from his torn ACL and LCL. This season, he’s getting over a stress fracture in his back that ended his 2018 season early. Wentz has never been able to say definitively if one injury led to the other. In mid-April, Wentz said his goal was to be ready for OTAs, but revealed his back hadn’t completely healed yet. 

Another part of the Wentz storyline this offseason is the possibility that the Eagles give him a mega extension before the start of the season. This is the first offseason Wentz is eligible for an extension. 

The Jenkins situation 
Malcolm Jenkins missed some voluntary workouts this offseason and now he's missing the start of OTAs, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. While we don't know for sure, it's possible this could be contract related. 

Jenkins, for the record, is under contact through the 2020 season. He has salaries of $8.1 million and $7.6 million in each of the next two seasons with cap hits of $9.148 and $6.11. Jenkins is the ninth-highest paid safety in the league in terms of AVY. 

DeSean's speed 
DeSean Jackson is 32, but he’s still lightning fast and led the NFL in yards per reception last season. This should be the first time him and Wentz get to practice together. It’s been a few years since we’ve gotten to see Jackson’s speed every day, but it will be fun to watch his new teammates see how fast he really is. 

Cornerback opportunity 
Because Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are coming off serious injuries, there should be some extra opportunity for guys like Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, Cre’Von LeBlanc and Avonte Maddox. We’ll get a glimpse at the early stages of a depth chart, but remember: things can change. DeVante Bausby got first-team reps at NCB last spring and then didn’t make the 53-man roster out of training camp. 

Linebacker depth chart
We’ll get to see the pecking order for linebackers. We know Nigel Bradham’s spot, but how do Kamu Grugier-Hill, Zach Brown, L.J. Fort and the others factor in? We should get those preliminary answers soon enough. 

Running back rotation
Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders have already met, but now they’ll be on the practice field together. The Eagles aren’t going to abandon their running back-by-committee system, but Sanders can earn playing time starting this week. 

Other health updates 
Don’t expect everyone to participate this week or this spring, but we should get some health updates for guys who were seriously injured last season: Darby, Mills, Rodney McLeod, Brandon Brooks. 

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Jon Runyan's former estate, with hefty price tag and insane bar, is for sale


Jon Runyan's former estate, with hefty price tag and insane bar, is for sale

If you’re in the market for a home with the most insane bar you’ve ever seen and have a cool $5 million budget, former Eagle Jon Runyan’s house could be the perfect fit.

Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Runyan’s old digs are for sale and, according to listings on Zillow, are nearly eight-times more expensive than any of the other 70 homes on the market in Mount Laurel. 

Despite being a massive 14,000 square-foot property, this house only has five bedrooms, but you’ll see where all that square-footage is being taken up. The area set aside for entertaining is just ridiculous.

Runyan, an Eagle from 2000 to 2008 and a congressman thereafter, was not the most recent tenant. He sold the house in 2015, but the home is back on the market for an elevated price of $5.6 million (see listing). The beautiful white interior and custom designs are ever-present throughout the home, which sits at the back of a long driveway and grand gated entrance. The house boasts a master kitchen, ample closet space and an awesome master bath with custom tub.

The backyard, though, is the most incredible part. Forget the pool with a diving board, artsy palm trees and pavilion, the bar is something out of an expensive wedding. It’s ridiculous.

Wooden beams stretch throughout this rustic barn-themed entertainment area, which boasts a giant circular bar with a fireplace and two bathrooms. It looks like the bar area could host a 100-person wedding instead of being in the backyard of someone’s single family home.

It also looks like there are seven garages, so, there’s one for you to drive a new car for every day of the week.

Here’s a look at some photos of the inside and outside of this insane estate.

If you’re wondering, Runyan moved into a $1.3 million Moorestown home in 2015, but sold the home in March for $1.2 million.

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