(CNN)The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl for the first time in the franchise’s history on Sunday, but several players have already indicated that they will not participate in the traditional White House visit, citing their opposition to President Donald Trump.
Trump, who released a statement on Super Bowl Sunday urging players to “proudly stand for the anthem,” congratulated the Eagles for their historic win.
“Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!” he tweeted.
“We read the news just like everyone else,” Smith said on Wednesday. “You see Donald Trump tweet something … We have those conversations in the locker room, just like everyone else does in the workplace. We’re very informed about what goes on, and we’re trying to continue to educate ourselves.”
“They call it the anthem protest,” he added. “We’re not protesting the anthem. It’s a protest during the anthem. I understand why people are mad, or may be offended when someone takes a knee. My father, when he dies, is going to be buried with an American flag draped around his casket, being that he served in the Army.”
When Trump launched a crusade in September against players who take a knee during the National Anthem to protest racism and NFL owners who allow them, he sparked a wave of new protests on the field.
Smith and some of his teammates were some of Trump’s most outspoken critics.
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