Why President Trump Canceled White House Ceremony Honoring Philadelphia Eagles
More is being learned about the president's move to nix the ceremony commemorating the Eagles' Super Bowl win.
More information has emerged about the reasoning behind President Trump's abrupt cancellation of a White House event honoring the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Eighty-one members of the team and supporting staff members originally said they would attend the annual White House celebration honoring the NFL champions.
But at the last minute, it came out that less than 10 of the players were planning to show up to the celebration slated for Tuesday afternoon.
"The Eagles were the ones that changed their commitment last minute," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during Tuesday's press conference.
The White House issued a notice Monday night, just hours before the celebration was supposed to begin.
Instead of a celebration of the football team's victory, the White House instead held 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."
The White House also clarified that the 1,000 Eagles fans who originally planned to attend the event were still invited.
But the Philadelphia Eagles are firing back, pointing out that despite the White House statement claiming players took a knee during the national anthem, none of them had actually done so.
Torrey Smith, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles last season, said his teammates were not refusing to go due to the controversy over kneeling for the anthem. In fact, Smith, the son of a U.S. Army veteran, said it is “false” that any player was against the military.
Fox News has also apologized after sharing a picture they said depicted Eagles players taking a knee during "Fox News @ Night." The team, however said the image actually shows them kneeling in prayer before the anthem was played.
"During our report about President Trump canceling the Philadelphia Eagles trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win, we showed unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer," "Fox News @ Night" executive producer Christopher Wallace. "To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or post-season last year. We apologize for the error."
Taking the side of their fellow athletes, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors said separately that neither of their teams would visit the White House if they were to win the NBA title.
‘Winning a championship is way bigger than getting invited to the White House,” James said. "Especially with him in it."
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