The Philadelphia Eagles were scheduled to go to the White House but less than 24 hours for this event, President Donald Trump cancelled the invite.
The NFL team was set to celebrate their Super Bowl LII victory with the president during a presentation on the South Lawn. Many players, including safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Chris Long, publicly expressed their dislike for Trump ahead of the presidential event.
“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,” Trump said in a statement on Monday.
“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,” he continued in the statement.
Trump concluded, “I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.”
Later in the evening, Trump said “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!” he tweeted.