Wide receiver Torrey Smith said in a press conference Wednesday that he will not visit the White House if the Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl this weekend.
Smith is one of several Eagles players who has been critical of President Donald Trump, writing in a since-deleted September tweet that Trump is "the most divisive person in this entire country."
The tweet came after the president used an expletive to describe players who kneel during the national anthem as a means of protesting racial inequality and police brutality. Trump has continued to criticize the NFL, its commissioner and its players for the protests, which he views as unpatriotic. He even mentioned standing for the national anthem during Tuesday night's State of the Union address.
On Wednesday, Smith sought to clarify the nature of the protests that have garnered so much attention this season.
"They call it the anthem protest," he said, according to NJ.com. "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. I understand why some people are offended by it. Also, there are soldiers that have issues going on right now, and there are things that affect them. They're things that affect my father. He understands both sides of the issue."
One of Smith's teammates, defensive lineman Chris Long, said earlier this week that he would also not visit the White House, which has become a tradition for major professional and college sports teams after championship seasons.