America’s team has long been a nickname associated with the Dallas Cowboys, but after decades of having that title bestowed upon them, it may finally be time to give it up. There’s a new team deserving of such a crown and for a very different reason and it just so happens to be their fiercest rival.
No, it’s not because the Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champions. Nor is it because they completed one of the most miraculous underdog runs in the history of the game. There was a drastic change in the NFL’s landscape today and it should leave the 31 remaining franchises in a position of power and confidence.
Today, the Philadelphia Eagles were scheduled to visit the White House following their incredible Super Bowl victory, but that visit was called off by Donald Trump. The reasoning for this was due to Philadelphia’s apparent views on ‘kneeling’ during the anthem. An activity that nobody on the team participated in last season, not a single one.
After a meticulous process by Jeffery Lurie, who had discussed the possibility of this visit thoroughly with his players, it was decided that a group of no more than 9 from the Super Bowl winning roster would visit Donald Trump to commemorate the Super Bowl win. When Trump caught wind of how small the party was going to be, he called off the entire visit, but also did something rather idiotic.
Positioning a forced agenda and his views on the anthem as the reason behind the cancellation, Trump caused a resurgence from the voices inside the locker room.
The truth is, Donald Trump took a celebration of the Super Bowl champions and spun it when the team decided that for a huge variety of reasons, they didn’t wish to attend. Forcing an agenda that focuses on paid patriotism didn’t just enable a backlash from Eagles players, but it finally helped many see the light and remember the initial reasoning behind kneeling in the first place.
Kneeling, although an act never committed by an Eagles player, was first introduced notably by Colin Kaepernick, who had spoken with a military veteran to work out a respectful way to participate in the Anthem, but express how it doesn’t represent the complete American picture. How it ignores problems in communities, racial injustice and so much more. More and more players, both white and black, began to align with this, using their platform to bring attention to areas that no media outlet would focus on without a bias.
It’s 2018. Everybody has a voice and an opinion. The world is exposed to everything, whether you like it or not. Kids are raised questioning why a black man is beaten and shot in the street because they saw it on Facebook and without a rational answer, they understand the sheer injustice that lies outside the safety of their own four walls, prompting change.
It would have been very easy for players on the Eagles roster to take this situation and bury it deep down. To have the PR staff sweep it under the rug and let an absurd agenda, completely unrelated to what the day was supposed to encompass, take charge. Instead, the likes of Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long, Zach Ertz, former Eagles wideout Torrey Smith and many more took to Twitter to not only complete rip apart the reasoning for the cancellation, but to take such a hotly discussed topic and re-align the poison with what’s pure and right in the world in a respectful and calm manner, is a monumentally admirable step to take.
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) June 5, 2018
No distaste, no bitterness. The players simply reaffirmed their positioning on the situation and drew attention to the incredible amount of community work that they all do. The Eagles have raised $3M in the last month for local communities and this event comes just days after a Charity Softball tournament hosted by Carson Wentz’s AO1 foundation.
Why are the Eagles America’s team? Because in the face of adversity, they’re standing for what they believe in. They won’t be silenced. Their passionate beliefs and desire to make the world a better place will not be extinguished. Their platform is being used for positivity, love and encompassing EVERYTHING that the national anthem embodies.
Zach Ertz took heavy shots at Fox News after they dishonestly used images of prayer pre and post game as ‘kneeling’ during the anthem. This team will not be silenced or allow their messages and morals to be skewed.
This can’t be serious…. Praying before games with my teammates, well before the anthem, is being used for your propaganda?! Just sad, I feel like you guys should have to be better than this… https://t.co/kYeyH2zXdK
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) June 5, 2018
They may not be your favorite team on the field. But to carry so much class, strength and determination to improve local communities, even in the wake of the President of the country using their name to force an agenda onto the world, it’s beyond admirable. The Eagles represent a change in the world we see today. Filling their fans and fellow NFL teams with confidence that their voices will be heard and a difference will be made.
Today, the world talks about Donald Trump and his cancellation of the Eagles visit. Tomorrow, the world will talk about the people Trump optionally denied to meet. The people who are making more of a positive difference to the United States than anyone gives them credit for.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports