The country is gearing up for the most-watched television event of the year. But while the Super Bowl is normally a day to unwind and set aside politics, the National Football League has had its fair share of drama this year with White House. The president's feud with the NFL has raised the question of whether Donald Trump is going to the Super Bowl.
Instead, if history is any guide, it appears Trump will be watching the game from the so-called Winter White House, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, according to The Palm Beach Post. Elite Daily reached out to the White House to confirm Trump's Super Bowl plans but did not hear back at the time of publication. Trump's likely trip, assuming it involves golf, would mark 15 days since his last foray onto his golf course, reports The Palm Beach Post.
Super Bowl LII will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET. This year, the New England Patriots will be taking on the Philadelphia Eagles. (And if you watch it for the all the other goodies other than sport, here's your heads up that Justin Timberlake will be heading the half-time show, so plan your mid-game guacamole run accordingly.)
The president, breaking tradition with his predecessors once again, has reportedly declined to participate in the pre-Super Bowl interview, according to CNN. The tradition began with President George W. Bush and continued when President Barack Obama made it a yearly habit beginning in 2009. Last year, Trump sat down with Fox's Bill O'Reilly at the White House for the pre-game convo.
While there's no confirmation yet of where Trump will view the game — or that he will at all — it's an annual tradition for Trump to watch the game from his Florida residence, the Post reports. And 2017 was no exception, though the game was only two weeks after he took office.
To be fair, we can understand why anyone would prefer to cheer on the players from the comfort of the mild southern winter over braving the live event in the Minnesota freeze.
But how and if Trump watches the Super Bowl will take on a different meaning this year given the tension between him and the league.
Trump has had a rocky relationship with the NFL this year.
The president has been feuding with some NFL players over the last year over their decision, led by Colin Kaepernick in 2016, to make a statement during the playing of the national anthem to protest police brutality against people of color. Players nationwide — and sometimes, even entire teams — have made waves on game day by kneeling, staying in their locker rooms, or linking arms in a show of solidarity. The protest has sparked controversy, as some view it as well within the right to free speech, while others feel it is disrespectful to the country, and especially to veterans. At the forefront of the latter group has been Trump.
At a rally in September 2017, the president called the protesters unsavory names and called for them to be fired. His doing so drew backlash, even from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a fellow part-time Palm Beach resident who donated a pretty penny to Trump's inauguration.
"I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday," Kraft said, per the Post. "I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal." Whether the tension between Trump and Kraft will spill in to the weekend's big game is anyone's guess.
Whether players will engage in any sort of protest of the national anthem at this year's Super Bowl is up in the air, but if they do, the broadcast will identify which players are doing so and why, said the game's executive producer, according to Deadline. But the year's drama has caused some to make up their minds about Sunday's game before it even happens.
Some people will be boycotting the game.
People nationwide appear to be planning to boycott. A group organized a Facebook event to boycott the Sunday game. As of 10 a.m. ET Friday, about 26,000 people had indicated going and another 23,000 were interested.
Tensions between both camps worsened when a one-page ad for the Super Bowl's program was rejected by the NFL, USA Today reported on Jan. 22. The ad, made by the veterans group AMVETS, featured the controversial hashtag #PleaseStand, which the NFL cited in its reasons for rejecting it.
While some eyes will be glued to the TV this Sunday, others will undoubtedly be glued to Twitter to see what the president has to say about this year's Super Bowl, whether from Palm Beach or not.