Donald Trump cancels White House visit for Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in Minnesota
Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in Minnesota

US President Donald Trump cancelled the usual White House visit for the Super Bowl champions after several Philadelphia Eagles players indicated they would not take up the invitation.

The winners of the Super Bowl usually head to Washington DC to attend a White House reception with the president, but after continuing tensions between Trump and the NFL several players said they would not want to go.

That led to Trump cancelling the event and hitting out at the Eagles.

A statement from the president said: "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 3pm with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America."


Super Bowl 53 betting


Trump and NFL players have been at odds over the national anthem saga - the league has introduced fines for players who kneel during it but has allowed them to not take to the field if they wish, a decision Trump criticised.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson had said the team would accept an invitation to celebrate their Super Bowl LII victory, but that each player would be able to decide if they wanted to attend.

After the White House announcement, former Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted, "So many lies. 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."

The Eagles later released a statement in response to Trump's tweet, 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 the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season."

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney was more forthright in his opinion on the matter though as he voiced his thoughts on Twitter.

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