In yet another totally undignified action from the White House, Donald Trump (with the help of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders) has escalated his war of words with the Philadelphia Eagles after canceling the traditional White House visit from the Super Bowl champs. Here is the ridiculous statement released by Huckabee Sanders on behalf of the Trump administration:
After extensive discussions with the Eagles organization, which began in February, the team accepted an invitation from the President to attend a June 5 celebration of their victory in Super Bowl LII at the White House.
On Thursday, May 31, the team notified the White House of 81 individuals, including players, coaches, management, and support personnel, who would attend the event. On Friday, the Secret Service cleared them for participation. These individuals, along with more than 1,000 Eagles fans, were scheduled to attend the event.
Late Friday, citing the fact that many players would not be in attendance, the team contacted the White House again, and attempted to reschedule the event. The President, however, had already announced that he would be traveling overseas on the dates the Eagles proposed. The White House, despite sensing a lack of good faith, nonetheless attempted to work with the Eagles over the weekend to change the event format that could accommodate a smaller group of players.
Unfortunately, the Eagles offered to send only a tiny handful of representatives, while making clear that the great majority of players would not attend the event, despite planning to be in D.C. today. In other words, the vast majority of the Eagles team decided to abandon their fans.
Upon learning these facts, the President decided to change the event so that it would be a celebration of the American flag with Eagles fans and performances by United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus.
Emphasis added. They are trying to create a rift between the team and their fans. Good luck with that!
Thanks to the cancellation being featured on Fox News, which used entirely inappropriate images to discuss the story (see below), it appears the entire White House press team is focused on doing damage control surrounding the event.
WOW> A WH aide tells @johnrobertsFox ,@eagles
submitted 70+ names. On Fri, Eagles said that they needed to reschedule the event to next week, when @potus would be in Singapore. Eagles then said ONLY 2 or 3 players, plus owner jeffrey lurie & the eagles mascot would be avail.
— Fin Gomez (@finnygo) June 5, 2018
This is what Trump and his team are spending their time on while North Korea is working toward nukes, 115 Americans per day die of opioid abuse, our bridges and roads are crumbling, our teachers are working overtime and then some to scrape by, families are being ripped apart on our borders, and nearly 5,000 American citizens needlessly died after a hurricane devastated Puerto Rico. It’s immoral, undignified, hurtful, embarrassing, and overall un-American to be wasting time on such trivial matters.
For their part, the Philadelphia Eagles released a much more dignified response, one that didn’t even mention Donald Trump. From NBC Sports:
Instead, the Eagles’ statement was about moving on:
“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 of the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season.”
This statement is pretty much in line from the public position the Eagles have had about the White House visit for months … they’d rather not talk about it.
Meanwhile, over on state television Fox News, they jumped into the fray by discussing the issue with images of Eagles players in the background. One problem? All of the images were of playings kneeling for prayer on the field. None were of the players protesting. In fact, none protested throughout the entire season. Viewers must’ve been upset because Fox News ended up apologizing rather quickly, something they aren’t known to do often. From The Hill:
“During our report about President Trump cancelling the Philadelphia Eagles trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win, we showed unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer,” Christopher Wallace, executive producer of “Fox News @ Night” with Shannon Bream, said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
I don’t know about you, but I look forward to an adult returning to the White House one day. One who can shake a few hands, slap a few backs, pose for photos, and sign a couple of footballs without it turning into a freaking international incident.