President Donald Trump released a statement about the Philadelphia Eagles' planned visit to the White House on Tuesday, uninviting the Super Bowl champions.
President Donald Trump released a statement about the Philadelphia Eagles' planned visit to the White House on Tuesday, uninviting the Super Bowl champions on Monday evening.
Here's the full statement:
The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. 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. 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. I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.
When the Eagles first won Super Bowl LII, Malcolm Jenkins, Torrey Smith and Chris Long immediately stated they had no intentions of making the trip to the White House.
Last month, when the team announced it was planning on making the trip June 5, quarterback Carson Wentz said he planned on going if most of his teammates were going and added that he didn't see it is a political matter.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports most, if not all, of the Eagles black players had decided to skip the White House visit. ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reports Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and coach Doug Pederson both planned on attending the event and, "A lot of people in the Eagles organization are very disappointed."
Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports fewer than 10 players planned on making the trip to the White House.
Trump later added that he considers staying in the locker room during the anthem as disrespectful as kneeling, but no Philadelphia players kneeled for the anthem last season or stayed in the locker room.
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
Smith, who is no longer with the Eagles and signed with the Panthers during the offseason, offered up his thoughts on the situation and attempted to clarify anything that was said about the situation that was not true.
The Eagles released a statement of their own after the news broke, but made no mention of the White House visit or Trump.
Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney also responded to Trump's decision, and said Trump "is not a true patriot" and invited the Eagles to celebrate their Super Bowl LII win at City Hall.