Tuesday’s planned White House reception for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles has been canceled and replaced with an event design to celebrate America and honor its heroes, the White House announced Monday afternoon.
The announcement was prompted by threats from several Eagles players to boycott the event in protest of President Donald Trump’s comments denouncing player protests during the playing of the National Anthem before games.
The Eagles had planned on sending the players who wanted to attend the reception, Fox News reports:
“The Eagles, which won Super Bowl LII in February, apparently wanted to send a smaller group of players — as a handful did not plan to attend — but Trump seemingly uninvited the entire team.
“Players Brandon Graham, Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long and Torrey Smith previously said they would not attend the event.”
Instead, Trump will host a thousand fans to a different type of White House event, one that will celebrate America and "honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem."
During the 2017 season, some Eagles players, led by safety Malcolm Jenkins, protested during the playing of the National Anthem.
Pres. Trump's full statement appears below:
"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."