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The Golden State Warriors, after they won the NBA title, visited the African American Museum instead of going to the White House. Will the Eagles do something similar?

By Conor Orr
May 17, 2018

Now that the Eagles are in the process of working out a visit to the White House after some doubt as to whether it would happen at all, we can resume fighting about it. Should these kinds of things be mandatory for everyone or should they happen at all? Do we even care about the players who are talking about why they’re staying away?

Of course, it’s an ancillary version of the same fight we’ve been having for the past two years in the NFL (and centuries in America), but it’s invigorating and less exhausting if we change locations once in a while.

According to a Washington Post deep dive, teams have been visiting the White House since 1865—the Brooklyn Atlantics went when Andrew Johnson was in office. The Ronald Reagan administration made today’s song and dance commonplace, per ESPN.

But the current president has drawn out a backlash among athletes (and the general public) that has obscured the pomp and circumstance to a level that makes having the current photo opportunity and rubber chicken dinner monologue in the rose garden seem a little tone deaf, even if there are many players and coaches who still relish the opportunity and enjoy the access.

It begs the question: Is there a better use of everyone’s time?

The idealist in me wondered if the traditional setup could be scrapped for an open forum and took the theory to a few people who have been through the White House visit before. Maybe, the White House could take the hour everyone spends lining up on the stairs to smile for the picture and listen to the jokes and put the president in a room with the athletes who represent well the diverse ideas and backgrounds of the nation he governs. However, even the current president’s schedule doesn’t allow for much wiggle room, especially when a team has to charter a flight in and out of town specifically for the occasion. And would it feel equally as disingenuous as the current setup when a player’s heartfelt concerns were scrapped after a speedy 15-minute meet and greet?

The Warriors seemed to have the only solution that made universal sense, and at least some Eagles seem to be following suit, planning to turn the day off into something positive elsewhere. Maybe the logical end to the White House visit really is upon us, but if that could lead to the birth of Post Championship Community Service Day, that's a victory everyone could celebrate.


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