Philadelphia Eagles lineman Chris Long is being attacked by pro-Trump commentator Britt McHenry who says the NFL star who supports players who kneel in protest is socially active to curry favor with the media so that he could land a post-retirement gig.
The spat between Long and McHenry was triggered by a tweet from the Eagles star about the NFL’s decision to punish teams whose players knelt in protest during the playing of The Star Spangled Banner.
Long said the owners’ decision was made out of concern for the NFL’s bottom line and fears that President Trump would turn his political base against the league, America’s most popular professional sports organization.
‘This is not patriotism. Don’t get it confused,’ the two-time Super Bowl champion wrote on Twitter.
‘These owners don’t love America more than the players demonstrating and taking real action to improve it,’ he said, adding he would be committed to using his platform to affect change.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long said the owners’ decision was made out of concern for the NFL’s bottom line and fears that President Trump would turn his political base against the league
‘This is not patriotism. Don’t get it confused,’ the two-time Super Bowl champion wrote on Twitter
McHenry, the former ESPN reporter, blasted Long in response, accusing him of ‘pandering’ and seeking ‘publicity.’
She tweeted: ‘Question. How much do you love the publicity of being a champion vs social issues vs you know the actual business and what people want?
‘Not hating either way, but you and your brother pander so much. It’s comical.’
In another tweet, she wrote: ‘Someone ten years into their career has already made MILLIONS. You know what gets them PUBLICITY? Giving up one season of “Salary.” Quickest way to a TV booth when you retire. Sorry I’m not sorry.’
McHenry was referring to Long’s decision to donate his entire 2016 salary to charity.
Long, who graduated from the University of Virginia, donated 6 paychecks to fund scholarships in Charlottesville.
The University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville was the site of a far-right demonstration and a counter-protest by anti-racists, one of whom was killed when she was mowed down by a suspected white supremacist last August.
The other checks were donated to promoting educational equality.
McHenry tweeted that Long’s gesture was insignificant since he comes from a wealthy family.
Long is being attacked by pro-Trump commentator Britt McHenry (above), who says the NFL star who supports players who kneel in protest is doing so to curry favor with the media so that he could land a post-retirement gig
‘If I made $39 million on ONE contract NFL deal and also came from a rich family, please, PLEASE think critically about why I’d donate a season of salary,’ she tweeted.
‘Hello tax write off. All the pub for 1 mil v 39 mil guaranteed. Libs & Long brothers play you.’
Chris Long’s brother, Kyle Long, plays for the Chicago Bears.
Chris Long angered conservatives when he publicly supported Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who was the first to kneel in protest during the national anthem.
Chris Long also said he would refuse to visit the White House if invited by President Trump.
Kyle Long has not been as outspoken as his brother, but he also said he would not visit the White House, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Chris and Kyle Long are the sons of Howie Long, a Hall of Fame lineman during his career with the Raiders. Long has also been a broadcaster for Fox Sports’ coverage of the NFL.
McHenry is best known for her tumultuous exit from the all-sports cable network ESPN.
In 2015, she was caught on surveillance camera belittling a tow company employee by making fun of her weight, lack of education, teeth, and living conditions.
After the clip went viral, ESPN suspended her. McHenry eventually apologized.
Last year, McHenry and dozens of other reporters were laid off from the Disney-owned company due to ESPN’s downsizing.
But earlier this year McHenry tweeted that the real reason for her firing was because she was white and that she ‘made too much.’
She currently works as a Fox News commentator and a host of Like It Or Not on WTTG Fox 5 in Washington, DC.
Several NFL players responded harshly Thursday to President Donald Trump’s comments supporting the league’s new national anthem policy, which calls for fines or punishment for any form of disrespect during the anthem.
‘I think that’s good,’ Trump said in an interview with Fox & Friends that taped Wednesday and aired Thursday.
‘I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. Or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.’
Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who knelt during the anthem before several games during the 2016 season and once last season, called Trump’s words ‘disgusting.’
‘I say disgusting because of our First Amendment rights,’ he said.
‘We’ve got freedom of speech, right? Freedom to protest? Just because somebody chooses to protest, now we’ve got to be kicked out of the country?
‘That’s not how things should work, in my opinion. It’s not about, just because somebody disagrees with something, if I don’t stand for the anthem, if I don’t like what’s going on, that’s basically him saying I should be kicked out the country.
President Donald Trump backed an NFL rule change Wednesday that bans kneeling during the national anthem and hits violators with fines
‘… Everybody is not going to agree on things, everybody is not going to have the same opinion on things, so just because somebody disagrees on something, an issue, with something that’s going on in this country, that they should pack up and leave – that’s absurd, in my opinion.’
Seattle Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin also had a strong reaction to the president’s comments.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday that the league will be fining teams for any personnel that fail to stand for the national anthem. However, players will be allowed to stay in the locker rooms
‘He’s an idiot,’ Baldwin said of Trump. ‘Plain and simple.’
He added: ‘I respect the man because he’s a human being, first and foremost. He’s just being more divisive, which is not surprising. It is what it is.
‘For him to say that anyone who doesn’t follow his viewpoints or his constituents’ viewpoints should be kicked out of the country, it’s not very empathetic, it’s not very American-like, actually to me. It’s not very patriotic. It’s not what this country was founded upon. It’s kind of ironic to me that the President of the United States is contradicting what our country is really built on.’
A college roommate of Colin Kaepernick while the pair played together at Nevada, Marshall was one of the first players to join Kaepernick in kneeling during the anthem to protest social injustice.
Marshall added that while he doesn’t like the league’s new anthem policy, he understands why it was put in place.
The president – who instigated the new policy with his withering rebuke of players refusing to stand during the tribute to America – said the measure doesn’t go far enough
‘That’s my opinion: I don’t like it,’ he said.
‘I understand it, though, I don’t like it, but I understand it and what they’re trying to protect – they’re trying to protect the shield.
‘The reason we did this in the first place, was to bring attention to police brutality, that’s the reason, that was just a symbol for what was going on, just like the flag is a symbol of America.
‘So, taking a knee was a symbol and the work came after that. Colin has been doing work, I’ve been doing work, Malcolm Jenkins, a bunch of guys have been doing work, so to me the knee wasn’t the end all, be all.
‘There should have been action behind the knee, and there was.’
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Artie Burns said he plans to stand for the anthem, but he opposes the new policy and expects it to be a source of division, rather than unity, within teams.
He described the new rules as a form of ‘bullying’ and said the subject will be ‘another topic to get everybody against each other.’
The controversial issue exploded two years ago after then-San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick (seen right with then-teammate Eric Reid) refused to stand to protest inequality and police brutality
Currently, NFL regulations say that players ‘should’ stand for The Star-Spangled Banner
‘It makes (protesters) look bad,’ Burns said.
‘Your whole team is out there (for the anthem) and you come running out (of the locker room) like, “Oh, he’s the guy.”
‘Who wants to go through that? That’s humiliating us as a person, because we’re trying to stand for something, to single us out in front of everybody.’
Marshall isn’t so sure the new policy will limit protesting, in part because its language indicates teams will be fined for any form of disrespect shown during the anthem, rather than players being fined.
‘I feel like it might make people rebel,” he said. ‘ … And let’s be clear, they say they might fine the team, but players don’t care about that – players don’t care if the team gets fined.’