The Philadelphia Eagles were all set to visit the White House Tuesday after knocking off the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52 in February. Keyword ‘were’.
Less than 24 hours before the champs were set to visit President Trump in Washington D.C., a commemorative annual outing for every major American professional sports franchise who wins a championship, the White House released a statement disinviting the Eagles.
President Trump … appears to be uninviting the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House because all of them don’t want to go. pic.twitter.com/DlOfQXLaWP
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) June 4, 2018
The press release reads –
“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow,” Trump said in a statement. “They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”
Trump took to Twitter himself to follow up the announcement.
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
The announcement follows the NFL’s decision to create a rule forcing playing who come out onto the field during the National Anthem before game to stand, or else remain in the locker room. President Trump partially sided with the rule and even went as far to say those who don’t stand should leave the country.
Likely fueled by this along with the indignation created by President Trump during last season with his comments about NFL players who did not stand for the Anthem, numerous Eagles players were already set to not attend the ceremony.