Philadelphia Eagles players and the city’s mayor have responded forcefully to criticisms from the White House, after President Trump rescinded an invitation to celebrate their Super Bowl win at the White House.
After President Trump cast aspersions on the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and disinvited them from a White House celebration, the fallout has been wide-ranging and swift — from Philadelphia’s mayor questioning Trump’s patriotism to Fox News apologizing for implying Eagles players had taken a knee during the national anthem.
The acrimony continued Tuesday, when the White House said “the vast majority of the Eagles team decided to abandon their fans.”
Christopher Wallace, the executive producer of FOX News @ Night with Shannon Bream, said the network erred during a broadcast Monday night when it used footage of Eagles players kneeling during a segment about the cancellation, implying that the players had taken a knee during the anthem last season — an act that players on other NFL teams have said is meant to protest police violence and racial inequality. The players were apparently praying.
Wallace said in a statement released by Fox News on Tuesday that “To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or post-season last year. We apologize for the error.”
Fox News has since deleted that original tweet. Hours before Wallace issued his public apology, the account for the network’s Fox & Friends show — a Trump favorite — tweeted several mentions of a purported “anthem dispute,” including one from co-host Brian Kilmeade in which he chided the Eagles and said, “Public sides with Anthem & Patriotism.”