The feud between President Trump and the NFL has been ongoing ever since he took office. Whether it has been his attacks on protesting players, or him uninviting the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory, Trump definitely isn’t a fan of the National Football League.
On June 8th, President Trump, suggested that NFL players should express to him individuals who they believe deserve pardons, in saying, “I’m going to ask all of those people to recommend to me — because that’s what they’re protesting — people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system. And I understand that. I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people that were unfairly treated and I’m gonna take a look at those applications and if I find and my committee finds that they’ve been unfairly treated than we’ll pardon them. Or at least let them out.”
Eagles Defensive End Chris Long Asks President Trump to Pardon Certain Offenders
Now one Philadelphia Eagles player, Chris Long, is taking on Trump’s suggestion via Twitter this morning, telling the President that the thousands of people in federal prison for marijuana offenses should be pardoned, as well as those individuals serving life sentences for non-violent drug crimes. Chris Long’s plea to President Trump can be seen below:
.@realDonaldTrump because you asked… An op-ed from our @playercoalition and my more personal thoughts on pardoning a population, not just a few. Even if all these pardons were carried out, reform is needed. (THREAD) pic.twitter.com/2ghzR6sJj7
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) June 21, 2018
Long also included his message via text in his Twitter thread. It reads as follow:
@realDonaldTrump because you asked… An op-ed from our @playercoalition and my more personal thoughts on pardoning a population, not just a few. Even if all these pardons were carried out, reform is needed.
As of 2012, there were over 11k people in federal prison for marijuana offenses. It is now legal medicinally and/or recreationally in almost thirty states. People are profiting freely off of it, as they should. Still, thousands sit in prison. They should be pardoned.
There are also a number of people serving life without parole for non violent drug crimes. They should not die in prison, and most people having served decades have done their time. They should go home.
Long has been one of the louder voices within the NFL when it comes to his opinions on racial injustice.
Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins Asks Trump to Pardon Non-Violent Offenders Sentenced to Life Without Parole
Long has been joined by another strong voice on the Philadelphia Eagles, safety Malcolm Jenkins, who also posted a video on Twitter this morning, asking Trump to pardon individuals “who have life without parole for non-violent offenses, who served a large portion of their time.” Jenkins is another player who has been very outspoken on racial injustice in America. His plea to Trump can be seen below:
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) June 21, 2018
The Start of an NFL Movement?
Is this the start of a movement within the NFL, one that takes on President Trump’s challenge? It very well may be. It should be interesting to see if other NFL players begin standing up to ask President Trump to pardon individuals and groups of individuals who they believe are being incarcerated unfairly. The only question that remains though, is will Trump value the opinion of NFL athletes who have been large voices and volunteers within their own communities as much as he valued the opinion of celebrity Kim Kardashian West? Just two weeks ago, Trump decided to take her advice and granted clemency to Alice Marie Johnson.