The Eagles had their invitation to the White House rescinded late Monday, with President Trump citing expected low participation from the team's players. Mr. Trump's statement accused the Eagles of disagreeing with his stance that all players should stand for the anthem.
On Comedy Central, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah mocked Trump's cancellation of the visit, which the president said this week was due to "a small number of players" deciding to make the trip. "The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better", read the president's statement. Bob Casey said he would skip it and invited the Eagles to visit Capitol Hill instead. He didn't want to disappoint them. An NFL source said none of the players on the Eagles team that won the Super Bowl took a knee during the anthem during the regular season - one player took a knee in the preseason but was cut before the regular season began.
No Eagles players knelt during the anthem last season. Relying on signs that resembled cue cards, the player-activist pointed out the high percentage of African Americans shot by police or incarcerated, and hailed the patriotism of fellow National Football League players who have demonstrated against racial injustice.More news: Crude Down as Saudis Said to be Revisiting Oil Cut Policy
"I believe it doesn't matter if the whole team goes".
"We love our country, we respect our flag, and we always stand for the national anthem - we always will stand for the national anthem", Mr. Trump said at the event.
This also isn't the first time an athlete has chosen not to visit the White House for political reasons (remember Tim Thomas?), but it is the first time (now second) a president has been so thin-skinned that he canceled the visit altogether. "The team is great". "Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!"More news: Israeli troops kill 3 Palestinians, injure 600 along Gaza border: medics
It's unclear exactly what prompted this last-minute change of plans. According to Trump, this party will "honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem".
Trump held an alternative event Tuesday dubbed a "Celebration of America" that included the U.S. Marine Band and the U.S. Army chorus playing patriotic songs.More news: Possibility of peace treaty at Trump-Kim summit offers hopes - and fears