Eagles' Pederson wants to focus on football, not controversy

'We're united. We're a team.'

Tim Jimenez
June 06, 2018 - 9:58 am
Doug Pederson

Ed Benkin-KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — For the first time since the Eagles' invitation to the White House was taken away, Head Coach Doug Pederson addressed the media. 

Out of the gate, Pederson touched upon the canceled White House visit. 

"I was looking forward to going down, obviously," he said. "We did something last season that was special. It's a milestone here in the city of Philadelphia, our organization, and I was looking forward to going down and being recognized as world champions."

Pederson then shifted his focus to football, but he was asked about the plans for their White House visit. Pederson did not want to go into specifics  for example, the number of players who wanted to go.

"I'm not gonna discuss any particulars of that trip. It's over. It's over, it's behind us, we're moving on."

He tried to stay on the topic of football. 

"It is what it is. We're here today. Got an OTA practice. I'm focused on the next couple of days getting through next week and onto training camp," he said.

When asked if this experience with the president hurt the team, Pederson said, "We're united. We're a team," and it's been that way since he's been head coach. "Our true fans, they're beside us. We're beside them," Pederson said.

After practice, Eagles players will also speak to the press. This will be the first time hearing directly from the Eagles outside of social media posts and a official statement from the organization that did not touch on the controversy at all. 

President Trump did not mention the Eagles at Tuesday's "Celebration of America" event that replaced the ceremony honoring the Super Bowl champions, but he did talk about the importance of the national anthem, alluding to NFL players who kneel.

"We love our country. We respect our flag. And we always proudly stand for our national anthem," Trump said.

Several Eagles defended the team through social media. One of the more vocal players and activisits, Malcom Jenkins, said in a statement, "The decision was made to lie and paint the picture that these players are anti-America, anti-flag and anti-military."

He added, "Simply Google: 'How many Philadelphia Eagles knelt during the national anthem last season?' and you find that the answer is zero."