NFL’s former P.R. exec takes issue with President’s cancellation of Eagles trip

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It’s unknown what Joe Lockhart would have said about the President’s cancellation of the White House visit by the Super Bowl champion Eagles if Lockhart were still the NFL’s top in-house P.R. executive. It is known what Lockhart did say in his capacity as a former NFL employee.

“Official statements from the President used to be serious thoughtful expressions of national interest,” said Lockhart, who served as the White House press secretary under President Clinton, on Twitter. “Now they are childish rants. The latest — if some of the [Super Bowl] champs don’t want to come to the [White House], then none of them are invited. POTUS will play with his toys alone tomorrow.”

The President uninvited the Eagles on the eve of the visit, claiming that “[t]hey disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our country.”

It’s the people’s house,” Lockhart added. “All Americans should be welcome. We’re not a monarchy where only those who swear loyalty are allowed into the palace. Players wanted to go and are being denied access because some teammates disagree and won’t bow, or kneel, before the President.”

Regardless of whether that’s an accurate description of the reasons for some Eagles to choose not to attend, the move reconfirms that the NFL cannot and will not win when it comes to the anthem issue, no matter how completely and repeatedly the owners try to capitulate to the President’s wishes. Anything done by the owners won’t be good enough or genuine enough or zealous enough.

Some would say they shouldn’t have done anything, accepting the fact that the President and his base will continue to twist the tiger’s tail no matter what the tiger does.

46 responses to “NFL’s former P.R. exec takes issue with President’s cancellation of Eagles trip

  1. Trump knew this was the likely outcome when the invitation was issued. Just gives him another chance to look like a champion of America, which is a lie.
    “When fascism comes to the United States, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the Cross.” – Sinclair Lewis.

  2. I would stand for the anthem but like the president I got bone spurs in one of my feet. Don’t remember which foot.

  3. The childish rants are coming out of the NFL moron. Play ball. That is all. You fools are killing this league.

  4. The Super Bowl LII winners come across to me as the losers here. They’re missing out big time on a well-deserved honor. Clearly, the President’s hand was forced. If only a “small contingent” of players planned to attend, then that would amount to a “slap in the face” not only to the prestige of the Office, but to the man who has delivered, among other things, all-time low unemployment for African Americans. Looks to me like the Eagles are “cutting off their nose”—or beak, as the case may be—”to spite their face.”

  5. Trump and his followers trample on everything this country is for and they call it being American. Bunch of knuckle heads who haven’t read a book on history in their life.

  6. Eagles are still free to join a tour group any time they like. They just don’t have the invite for a one on one with the President.

  7. I was hoping, maybe, this headline was going to end with the former NFL exec honoring Dwight Clark.

    But no. Instead, the lyrics for Bye Bye Miss American Pie ran through my head as I thought Bye, Dwight. The day that football died.

  8. why does he continue to try and politicize pro sports?
    exnfl pr man is right its the peoples house

  9. Saw this coming, no one should be surprised. It has become the SOP of when teams are invited everyone covers the stories of “who” is not going now and their statement of why. Well it is kind of like the anthem protests. Some players take the opportunity to get involved in politics and here is the end result. For me I could care less about any team being invited to the White House. My life goes on whether anyone goes or not.

  10. I took a quick look at the Constitution. Couldn’t find anything about “President must do a dog and pony show with members of professional sport teams, National Spelling Bee champs or has to pardon a turkey every Thanksgiving.”

    BTW, the players can visit the White House if they want. Just get in line with a ticket like everybody else.

    Would I visit the WH if I was on a pro team? No. Be it Trump, Obama, Bush etc.. I think it’s stupid.

  11. No one is asked to bow or kneel to the president. More left wing deflection and nonsense. They are asked to respect the colors or our nation that represent blood sweat tears and even the lives of men and women that sacrificed for all of us. It’s that simple and not an issue in any other sport.

  12. ummm…they can all go for the tour like any other American. They made their statement and the WH made their’s. You may not agree with it but every action has a reaction. Why would the WH choose to be embarrassed by a bunch of spoiled athletes. Instead of taking the opportunity to talk directly with the President they chose to take their ball and stay home but, as usual, they don’t want anyone telling them no.

  13. It’s the people’s house,” Lockhart added. “All Americans should be welcome. We’re not a monarchy where only those who swear loyalty are allowed into the palace. Players wanted to go and are being denied access because some teammates disagree and won’t bow, or kneel, before the President.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, Mr. Lockhart. Let trump have his afternoon all by himself to look at his glossies of Putin and play with his toy soldiers after his happy meal lunch.

  14. What a bunch of pious malarkey.

    This man (like it or not) was elected President of the United States by the legitimate means (despite efforts to undo it) and represents (accurately so) the feeling of the vast majority of NFL fans and Americans, that the national anthem at football games is not the appropriate time/method for spewing a non-sequitur agenda started by a half-wit Neo-Marxist ideologue (or at least his girlfriend who is pulling the strings) who vows to cut out the act now that the revenue stream has been cut-off.

    “The People” don’t want this theater of the absurd nor it’s highest paid actors in “Our House.” That’s our “Right” under the same constitution.

  15. Why not write about the people who support the president and NFL’s position? Lavar ball had a big endorsement. Or do you own cover people who agree with the writer…

  16. It’s not about the man, Lockhart. It’s about the nation. It’s called “leadership”. You don’t recognize it because you worked for Clinton.

  17. Band of idiots played right into the Presidents hands, now half of the country will wake up angry at them tomorrow. Way to go Birds. Oh and don’t believe everything you hear about the President changing your leagues policy on standing, it was your cowardly Commissioner who’s too much of a beta male to tell you to stand or risk losing money from sponsors. You want to get mad at someone get mad at your owners who act like they are your friends and that pansy Commissioner. Now the President has made you look like a bunch of unpatriotic troglodytes. #openyoureyes

  18. Yes it is the People’s House and we don’t need left wing activist athlete’s disrespecting it as they have with our Flag & National Anthem.

  19. Dwight Clark dies today of ALS, and all the NFL news focuses upon a President that is more interested in grabbing attention for himself than actually running the damn country.

  20. The Owners and League office are cowards if they don’t stand up for their business being humiliated across this country by The Electoral college elected POTUS.

  21. Trump will go down as the WORST president in American History. That’s saying a lot, considering Nixon and Harding amongst others.

    I am not a Republic nor a Democrat. I am a retired police officer from a wealthy family and I get both sides of the fence. Trump is a DISASTER. His whole presidency is what stupid thing have I done today? Every single day.

    Do I stand during the anthem? Always. Does it bother me that others don’t? Yes. But it’s their right. This president wishes he could rule the world as he is the most narcissistic person I’ve ever seen in public office and that’s saying a lot.

  22. Trump’s just mad because he was never able to be a NFL owner. His owning of the New Jersey Generals of the USFL was a flop, so he’s taking his anger out on the NFL. First time in history that th POTUS is a complete moron.

  23. Can’t listen to anything former clinton lackeys have to say.
    Just nonsense coming out of their mouths.

  24. It’s a team game. If the team isn’t going, then no one should go. Rather than taking a brief moment to perhaps talk to the president about your issues, you just won’t go because he has a differing opinion from yours. Bunch of childish little brats.

  25. This is the guy who did all of Roger Goodell’s maneuvering pitting the owners against each other to get a $200M guaranteed contract. Maybe more fans should speak out So he can hear what fans think about that.

  26. That’s the part I look forward to hearing the Talking Point Crowd justify: how does disinviting the willful participants punish the ones who didn’t want to go?

    And more importantly, how in the world is this making America great, or putting America 1st? Bearing in mind, every member of the Eagles organization is American

  27. Philly’s mayor has it right and everyone knows it. Trump’s the only one in history to make Nazis, the good guys. He can tweet nonsense all day. The fact is, they’d rather vist the Kremlin, that the White House.

    The players are speaking by their action. They get the last word on protesting racial inequality, because in the end the NFL cannot silence dissent. I predict we’re gonna see some players stay in the locker rooms during the playing of the national anthem. That divisive, coward’s way out by the league, will backfire on Trump & the owners.

    There’s nothing in the NFL rules that forbids players demonstrating their point after they score a TD, by kneeling in the endzone. No words need be spoken. Everyone will know why they are doing it and it can’t be hijacked by Trump, as no flag, military or anthem will be threatened.

    Further, what prevents kneeling in protest between plays? The league allows sack dances-what if after a big play like a sack or interception, that player kneels? The issue can’t be twisted toward flag or anthem disrespect. The players have a platform and if smart, they can protest within the rules and fight racism in Trump’s America on virtually between every play.

    Let that sink in.

  28. But this is the sad world we live in. Everything has to be polarizing. Like it or not, Donald Trump is the President of the United States. He earned the position by following the process outlined in the constitution. Just like his predecessor (Barack Obama) did two times.

    I remember reading when Obama was president attacks on players who wouldn’t go to the White House, putting their personal beliefs ahead of what, until recently was a nice tradition. People seem to forget that we have never had 100% of the population vote for one candidate – and if a 60% to 40% victory is considered a landslide, it still means that in the best of years 40% of the population didnt vote for the incumbent. (Yes, Donald Trump got less total votes than Hillary – but he won based on guidelines of constitution. As a point of reference, Bill Clinton won office 2x and never received 50% or more of the vote, either…) Basically, there have always been Presidents elected that didn’t represent the philosophy of all of the players invited to the White House.

    I think at this point, it is better to stop this tradition. Regardless of whether i voted for or against a president, i would still like to think that it would be an honor to be invited to the white house. And, regardless of whether i voted for or against a president – they are still our president – and it would be against one’s self interest to root against them being successful. I think that if less than half of the team was willing to attend this ceremony it is better to cancel the event. Because then the event is no longer about recognizing the success of a team. Now the event becomes a debate about the president – and there is no benefit to that for anyone.

  29. “When fascism comes to the United States, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the Cross.” – Sinclair Lewis.

    1 0 Rate This


    Sadly, he is correct. Americans must put a stop to this kind of tyranny. It will only get worse if we let low IQ, bible thumping morons who are bigots, try to take over.

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