Two Eagles players call out Trump's response to Charlottesville violence

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Eagles defensive end Chris Long (left) and safety Malcolm Jenkins criticized President Trump’s comments following a deadly rally in Charlottesville.

In the wake of a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, many critics, including Republicans, criticized President Trump for not chastising the hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and Ku Klux Klan members whose views fueled the violence that left three dead.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides,” Trump said during a Saturday press conference from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

Republicans leaders, such as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, strongly denounced white supremacy and called the views behind the gathering “repugnant.”

“Their tiki torches may be fueled by citronella but their ideas are fueled by hate, and have no place in civil society,” said Sen. Orin Hatch (R., Utah). “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”

On Saturday night, a pair of Eagles players joined the chorus of critics who questioned why the president chose to lump counterprotesters together with people who shouted racial epithets and chanted Nazi slogans, including “Sieg Heil.”

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who joined Colin Kaepernick and others by silently protesting during the national anthem all of last season, said that President Trump was suddenly getting “soft on terrorism”

Former Patriots defensive end Chris Long, who joined the Eagles during the offseason, called Trump’s language “a form of political self preservation.”

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the national anthem before a preseason game Saturday night against the Cardinals. Raiders coach Jack Del Rio told reporters Lynch said it’s something he’s done for 11 seasons, but footage found on YouTube from a November 13, 2011 game clearly shows Lynch standing on the sideline while the national anthem was being performed.

Camera icon Rick Scuteri / AP Photo
Marshawn Lynch sits during the national anthem prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals Saturday night.