In a somewhat shocking statement from The White House, President Trump has disinvited the Philadelphia Eagle Football Team from visiting tomorrow because they were only sending a "smaller delegation" as various players refused to attend.
As The Hill notes, Trump has frequently criticized NFL players who protested during the national anthem before games last season, calling on them to be punished or fired.
Several Philadelphia Eagles players were among those who protested during the national anthem before games each week last season. Some of those players said following the team's Super Bowl victory that they would not visit the White House.
Statement by the President
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.
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SportingNews.com reports that at least four players from the Eagles championship team - Chris Long, Malcolm Jenkins, Torrey Smith and Brandon Graham - had made it clear they were not going to go, specifically because of Trump, either partly or fully because of his constant demeaning and belittling of players (starting with calling them "sons of bitches" at a September rally) who were protesting during the national anthem.
Then came Trump’s remarks the morning after the NFL's new anthem policy was announced last Wednesday:
"You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn't be playing. You shouldn't be there. Maybe you shouldn't be in the country."
The Eagles were the first championship team scheduled to visit since that comment.