Philadelphia Eagles players kiss the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII in February. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
President Trump announced in a statement Monday night that the Philadelphia Eagles will not be attending the traditional White House visit to celebrate their Super Bowl LII because the players refuse to stand for the national anthem:
"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..."— President Trump
"So many lies smh. Here are some facts 1. Not many people were going to go 2. No one refused to go simply because Trump 'insists' folks stand for the anthem 3. The President continues to spread the false narrative that players are anti military ... There are a lot of people on the team that have plenty of different views. The men and women that wanted to go should’ve been able to go. It’s a cowardly act to cancel the celebration because the majority of the people don’t want to see you. To make it about the anthem is foolish"— Smith on Twitter
Timing: The statement comes less than two weeks after the NFL announced a new policy requiring players on the field to stand while the national anthem is played. The decision, a hot-button issue amongst NFL owners last season, was a significant win for Trump.
Flashback: Last year, several Patriots decided to skip the White House Super Bowl celebration, citing their opposition to Trump.