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Alshon Jeffery #17 and Torrey Smith #82 of the Philadelphia Eagles. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Several Philadelphia Eagles players, the Philadelphia Mayor, and other prominent figures have criticized President Trump for canceling the Super Bowl champions' celebration at the White House last minute. The White House is blaming the team for the canceled meeting, saying the Eagles tried to reschedule at the last second to a time that the president was out of the country.

The big picture: Originally, Trump said he canceled the meeting because the players "disagree" with his insistence that they stand for the national anthem — but not one Eagles player knelt during the national anthem for the entirety of the season. Sarah Sanders later accused the Eagles of "pulling a political stunt" in her Tuesday briefing.

What they're saying
  • Former Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith, who had previously announced that he would not attend the event due to Trump's history of disrespect toward women and minorities, criticized Trump's statement on Twitter:
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Former linebacker Jeremiah Trotter tweeted, "Don’t Matter most of the guys weren’t going anyway!"
  • Malcolm Jenkins, a safety, released a statement defending the reputation of the team, their social activity, and the fact that none kneeled during the national anthem. He added that the White House's decision to cancel the event "was made to to lie, and paint a picture that these players are anti-American, anti-flag and anti-military."
  • Tight end Zach Ertz tweeted about Fox New's coverage of the cancelled event, which included footage of Eagles players kneeling during prayer, which out of context looked as if they were kneeling during the national anthem:
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
What others are saying:
  • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted that he is "proud of the Eagles on & off the field" and that "disinviting them only proves the President is not a true patriot."
  • Former NFL star Cris Carter tweeted, "President Obama should invite the Eagles to his house for a barbecue."
  • Reggie Bush also had a reaction:
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated 18 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Media startups anxiously await BuzzFeed’s stock market debut

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Digital media companies considering going public are watching BuzzFeed's expected stock market debut next week to see how investors will respond.

Why it matters: A slowdown in SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) earlier this year pushed some digital media companies that were considering going public via SPAC IPOs away from the idea, such as Vice.