President Donald Trump revealed Monday evening that some of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles refused to stand for the National Anthem at a Tuesday White House event that was scheduled in their honor, leading the President to cancel their appearance.
The 1,000 invited fans are still welcome to come for an event being held in its place that will honor America and the “heroes who fight to protect it.”
“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow,” the President’s Thursday evening statement began. “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.”
President Trump explained that the Eagles had sought to send a smaller delegation to the White House instead, “but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”
Trump instead invited the fans to still come to the White House, but “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 concluded.
Monday night, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump hosted Gold Star families at the White House – those who have an immediate family member who was killed while serving in the military during wartime. The first lady made this the first event she has attended since her medical procedure just three weeks ago. She and the President hosted a similar event last year, close to Memorial Day.
President Trump has been a strong proponent for standing during the playing of the National Anthem. The NFL recently updated its policy on standing for the National Anthem in response to the debate over the issue. NFL owners have admitted that the president’s stance influenced their decision to change their policy.