“It's over, it's behind us, we're moving on,” Philadelphia Eagles Coach Doug Pederson said at a press conference Wednesday when reporters repeatedly tried to bait him into extending the controversy regarding the cancellation of Tuesday's scheduled White House reception for the team.
The very first question asked about the team’s “best course of action” for dealing with President Donald Trump regarding the cancellation.
“I was looking forward to going down, obviously,” Pederson replied, expressing disappointment over the lost opportunity:
“We did something last season that was very special. It’s a milestone here in the city of Philadelphia. Our organization and I was looking forward to going down and being recognized as world champions.
“And, you know, it is what is. We’re here today; we’ve got an OTA practice and focused on these next couple of days, getting through next week and on to training camp. So, that’s where we’re at.”
Reporters continued to bait Pederson, but he refused to comment further:
Reporter: “Coach, they accused you yesterday, at the White House, of a political stunt…”
Pederson: “I’m not discussing it; it’s over.
“What you’ve seen and what you’ve heard is enough. And, I’m not discussing it. I’m not going to stand here and discuss it, because we’ve got two OTA practices, I’ve got a mandatory camp next week, and I’m focused on that.”
Reporter: “Does it bother you that you’re up here having to answer these questions, instead of the owner?”
Pederson: “No. No, we’re united. We’re a team. It’s been that way since I’ve been here.”
Reporter: “Do you feel you had to address this whole situation with your players in a team meeting?”
Pederson: “No. No. I mean, listen: no”
Asked if, at practice yesterday, it was what “everybody was talking about,” Pederson declared the matter “over”:
“No nobody’s talking about it. Nobody. It’s over, it’s behind us, we’re moving on.”
While the topic then turned mostly to football, reporters occasionally posed more questions regarding the White House controversy, which Pederson continued to dismiss without comment.