For as long as I can remember, it has long been the tradition for the winning team of the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, and Stanley Cup would meet with the president for their celebration. It was always widely accepted that, regardless of the player's or coaches' political leanings, the celebration with the president would be just that moment where the seriousness of the task of being President can be downplayed for a little bit just to celebrate the winning team's success.
The last couple of seasons, especially in the NFL, have blurred that line a little bit. What started as a protest of police brutality from Colin Kaepernick to start the 2016 NFL season has evolved into what the definition of "patriotism" is. Before a slate of Sunday's games in late September of last year, President Trump condemned those who took the knee during the National Anthem by saying that NFL owners should fire the protesting players and called them "sons of bitches" for protesting.
This has evolved into "stunts" being played using taxpayer dollars. Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence attended the San Francisco 49ers-Indianapolis Colts game last season and immediately walked out before kickoff because he witnessed some 49er players taking the knee during the National Anthem. But, we all know who orchestrated this stunt…
So, it is understandable as to why the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles would decline the offer from President Trump to do the traditional White House visit done by the previous Super Bowl champions. If I found out that the leaders and representatives of my country were using my money (taxpayer money) to do stunts like what Pence pulled off, I would not exactly be too cotton to visiting those same leaders.
Now it has recently come out that Trump has since canceled the event "because only a few players showed up." Somebody needs to remind him that it goes far beyond politics as to why the White House visits for champions during this current time-frame will be more scrutinized than they were in the past.