After the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in February 2018, a question remained about whether or not the team would visit the White House to celebrate the victory. In June, that question was answered when President Donald Trump disinvited the team after learning that not many of the players were going to attend.
The news generated a lot of buzz from those who agreed and disagreed with the decision, but the Eagles didn’t seem to mind. Here’s more on that, plus what some other famous faces have said about the whole thing (pages 6 and 7).
Trump gives reason for pulling invitation
Less than 24 hours before some members of the Eagles were set to travel to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, President Trump rescinded the invitation after learning that just a few people from the organization would be attending. He said the reasoning was over the national anthem dispute tweeting, “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!”
Despite what the president tweeted as his reason, none of the players on the Eagles ever knelt during the national anthem nor did any of the players ever stay in the locker room while the anthem was being played.
Next: Trump disinvited another championship team from the White House.
The Eagles aren’t the only championship team to be uninvited
For all the headlines it garnered, the Eagles aren’t the first championship team with players who decided not to attend the White House and we now know they aren’t the last to be told by the president that they are not invited.
In 2017, following the finals win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry said he likely wouldn’t attend the White House. When Trump heard about that, he disinvited the superstar which led to the entire team skipping the event.
In 2018, both NBA teams met in the finals again and stated that no matter who won, that team wouldn’t be going to the White House. Therefore, before the Warriors even won the series, Trump said that they weren’t invited.
Next: The NFLPA canceled events in D.C.
The NFL Players Association responded to president’s decision
In response to the president disinviting the Eagles, the NFL Players Association released a statement announcing that it was “disappointed” in the president choice and had to cancel community events members of the Eagles were set to attend while in town.
Our union is disappointed in the decision by the White House to disinvite players from the Philadelphia Eagles from being recognized and celebrated by all Americans for their accomplishment. This decision by the White House has led to the cancellation of several player-led community service events for young people in the Washington D.C. area. NFL players love their country, support our troops, give back to their communities, and strive to make America a better place.
Next: The Eagles released an interesting statement following the news.
The Eagles did not mention that they were disinvited
A statement from the Eagles following the news made no mention of Trump or the disinvite.
“It has been incredibly thrilling to celebrate our first Super Bowl Championship,” the tweet read. “Watching the entire Eagles community come together has been an inspiration. We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season.”
Next: This is why the team didn’t mind that the invitation was rescinded.
Even less players than we thought wanted to attend
According to initial reports a handful of players were planning to attend the White House. However, a later report from NFL Network stated that the exact number was only two players and one was Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Had the ceremony happened, Foles and the other player would have stood on the South Lawn with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, head coach Doug Pederson, and the team’s mascot Swoop.
But given that hardly any players were going to attend, it doesn’t matter that their invitation was rescinded at the last minute. What the Birds say they are focused on is getting ready for the season and defending the title of Super Bowl champs.
Next: This UFC fighter had some harsh words for the team.
Colby Covington said Eagles ‘suck’
There were a lot of opinions from fellow athletes and other figures in the sports world after it was reported that many of the Eagles players didn’t want to go. UFC fighter Colby Covington blasted the football team over the choice.
“What a joke,” he told MMAjunkie. “They live in the city of liberty, man — the liberty bell is right down the street. Their mascot is the eagle. That’s the American flag’s mascot. I’ve just gotta say that the Philadelphia Eagles suck.”
Next: This HOF quarterback weighed in with a different take.
Terry Bradshaw said he sides with Eagles
Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and current NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw had a different take and spoke to TMZ Sports about why he supports the Eagles.
I agree with the Eagles. Totally, 100 percent. He [Trump] just needs to go somewhere and enjoy the money he’s got. You know what’s so bad about that whole event? Was how they [Eagles players] were portrayed as protesting, kneeling, during the national anthem when they were praying. That is just wrong. First amendment rights, I totally believe in it.