President Trump cancels meeting with Philadelphia Eagles


The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will not meet with President Donald Trump at the White House. Both the President and team officials confirmed the meeting scheduled for Tuesday has been cancelled.

Trump said in a statement that some members of the Super Bowl championship team “disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart.” The President went on to say that he’ll instead be hosting “a different type of ceremony” with the U.S. Marine Band.

“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,” Trump’s full statement read.

Sources said that “less than a handful” of players actually signed up to go meet with the President.

The Eagles did not mention the president or the White House in their response to the cancellation, saying, “It has been incredibly thrilling to celebrate our first Super Bowl Championship. Watching the entire Eagles community come together has been an inspiration. We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called out Trump, releasing this statement on the cancellation:

“The Eagles call the birthplace of our democracy home, so it’s no surprise that this team embodies everything that makes our country and our city great. Their athletic accomplishments on the field led to an historic victory this year.

"Fans all across the country rallied behind them because we like to root for the underdog and we feel joy when we see the underdogs finally win. I’m equally proud of the Eagles’ activism off the field. These are players who stand up for the causes they believe in and who contribute in meaningful ways to their community. They represent the diversity of our nation—a nation in which we are free to express our opinions.

"Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend. City Hall is always open for a celebration,” said Kenney.

Source close to the team say the team will now be expected to be at the team's training facility Tuesday in South Philadelphia to attend what is called a Phase II day of organized team activities, which includes meetings, weight training and individual on-field drills.

Before the Eagles accepted the White House visit, The New York Times reported that team owner Jeffrey Lurie said in an October meeting among players, owners and league personnel that "many of us have no interest in supporting President Trump."

Last September, the possibility of a White House visit for the NBA champion Golden State Warriors broke down after Trump took issue with star guard Stephen Curry saying he would not attend a celebration. Instead, the Warriors focused on education and community service during their February visit to the nation's capital.

The NFL owners adopted a new anthem policy on May 23 that will allow for players who do not wish to stand for the anthem to remain in the tunnel. Teams can be fined if players do not stand and "show respect" during the anthem. Trump also said players who chose not to stand "shouldn't be in the country."

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