Their White House visit was becoming a gong show… so Trump switched things up.
The ceremonial visit to the White House was fast becoming less about honoring a team, and more about pushing a private political agenda.
Maybe they still haven’t learned the lesson from the ratings cratering over politicizing the game itself. They’re playing games with going or not going as a team.
Not that it’s a big deal either way, White House visits are a fairly recent innovation.
In 1963, the Boston Celtics became the first NBA champions to visit the White House, upon an invitation from President John F. Kennedy, a Massachusetts native. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the first Super Bowl champions to be so honored in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter waved a Terrible Towel at a ceremony inside the White House. Eleven years later, the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins broke the ice for the NHL as guests of President George H. W. Bush. As one might guess, the history of White House visits by baseball teams dates back much farther.
Some have pointed out that the Eagles never knelt during the anthem. Decide for yourself.
An athletes job is not to appeal to every fan either. Their job is to perform & to win. If they do that then their fan base will love them no matter what.
The #Eagles didn’t have a single player who took a knee but they did have an player who gave his entire salary to charity.
— FShelton25 (@Fshelton1300) June 5, 2018
Here’s Trump’s tweet in response to that objection:
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
Here’s another tweet on the subject… with a photo of an Eagle kneeling. (In case that’s relevant.)
So what would you call this then? pic.twitter.com/ot85k5wejE
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) June 5, 2018
Since so few Eagles have been interested in being so honored, Trump made some adjustments to the event.
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.
The invitation was to the team. Not to a handful of players who didn’t have something better to do.
If they, collectively, choose not to have their victory honored as a team… that’s fine.
The President will take that time to do what the NFL failed to do for so much of their season… celebrate America itself.
What do you think about this decision?
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And gents, let everyone know that you want your President to be just as much of a man as you are:
Donald J. Trump is our 45th President. Why? Because Americans from all races and classes are sick of whining Republicans and corrupt Democrats. Finally, we have a President who isn’t afraid to say what he thinks even if it is not popular with the press. Trump is not a typical politician. Trump can’t be bought. He will back up what he says with action, no matter the cost. Finally. A president with balls!
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