Trump disinvites Philadelphia Eagles from White House over anthem dispute
President Trump has disinvited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles from a planned visit to the White House on Tuesday over what he says is a disagreement on standing during national anthem. Mr. Trump issued a statement Monday evening saying the full NFL team would not be coming after several players indicated they wouldn’t participate.
“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 statement said.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 4, 2018
The National Football League adopted a new policy last month requiring players to stand for the National Anthem or face fines. The league came under intense pressure from the president last season when players knelt to protest police brutality and racism.
Mr. Trump said the team wanted to send a “smaller delegation” of players but fans attending the event “deserve better.”
“These fans are still invited to the White House to be part of a different type of ceremony — one that will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem,” it said.
Some Democratic members of Congress from Pennsylvania reacted to the president’s announcement by inviting the team to visit the Capitol instead. Sen. Bob Casey said he would be skipping the revised event:
I’m proud of what the @Eagles accomplished this year. I’m skipping this political stunt at the White House and just invited the Eagles to Congress. @Eagles How about a tour of the Capitol? https://t.co/niWR7zkSYx
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) June 4, 2018
— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) June 4, 2018
The White House event will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The statement said the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus will be in attendance to “celebrate America.”
Before and after the Super Bowl in February, several Eagles players discussed skipping the White House ceremony typically held for champions of professional and collegiate American sports leagues.