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Now the Eagles join the company of the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors as title winners with better things to do than share the stage with Trump. And that list will undoubtedly grow with many future champions likely boasting a significant number of African-American players.
Sure, it’s a shame, as former Eagles receiver Torrey Smith expressed on Twitter in summarizing the flip as a cowardly actby Trump. Players who embraced the idea of being honored at the White House suddenly lost that opportunity. They’ll have to settle for having a place in history, at the intersection of sports, politics, polarization and activism.
Too bad there’s no such silver lining for the NFL.
Trump’s political punt underscored just why it was such a bad idea for NFL owners to pass that new, murky national anthem policy, as if it would squash the criticism coming from the President. Players now will be allowed to remain in the locker room for the anthem, but those who are on the sideline are required to stand and show respect, lest their teams be subjected to a fine.
Here’s to hoping they know better now.