Washington, D.C. – President Donald Trump has canceled invite for the Super Bowl champion visit to the White House because multiple team members opted not to come rather than stand for the National Anthem.
“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow,” President Donald Trump said in a statement released on Monday.
“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,” the President’s statement read.
President Trump said the Eagles’ fans were still invited to come and participate in a “different kind of ceremony,” according to CNN.
“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,” President Trump said, according to CNN.
The NFL recently adopted a new policy that said players could remain in the locker room while the national anthem was played; however, players and personnel who choose to be out on the field must stand for the National Anthem or they will be fined, according to ESPN.
It’s not the first time this President has told athletes to stay home.
After the San Francisco-based Golden State Warriors won the national basketball championship in 2017, Golden State Coach Steve Kerr said his team had not decided whether they would go to the White House, according to the Washington Post.
Two-time MVP Stephen Curry had initially said he didn’t want to attend, USA Today reported.
“I don’t want to go,” Curry said. “That’s kind of the nucleus of my belief… [But] it’s not just me going to the White House. If it was, this would be a pretty short conversation.”
The President was quick to rescind his invitation to the entire championship basketball team over the snub.
“Going to the White House in considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” President Trump tweeted the next day.