Eagles visit to White House canceled

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short responds to the news that Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles' visit to the White House has been canceled due to the controversy over standing for the national anthem at NFL games.

Posted: Jun 5, 2018 10:53 AM
Updated: Jun 5, 2018 10:53 AM

President Donald Trump warned NFL players on Tuesday about "escaping" to locker rooms during the playing of the National Anthem after he rescinded an invitation for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to visit the White House.

"We will proudly be playing the National Anthem and other wonderful music celebrating our Country today at 3 P.M., The White House, with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus. Honoring America!" Trump posted on Twitter.

He added, "NFL, no escaping to Locker Rooms!," a reference to a new NFL policy giving players the option of remaining off the field during the playing of the anthem if they choose not to stand for it. Last month, the NFL announced teams could choose to require athletes in their arenas to stand during the playing of the anthem or face fines.

Trump announced Monday he would be canceling the Eagles' visit over the controversy about standing for the National Anthem at NFL games, and instead hosting a "Celebration of America" event. In a follow-up tweet on Tuesday, Trump touted other championship teams that had visited the White House during his presidency.

Abrupt decision

The decision to cancel the Eagles' visit over the protests -- which were spurred by black athletes over what they believe is systemic abuse by police against people of color -- threatens to reignite a long-simmering, racially-tinged controversy.

Players on the Eagles are some of the most outspoken social justice activists in the NFL, and multiple players took part in the protests during the anthem over the last two seasons. Many players from the team were not planning on attending the ceremony as a protest of Trump, his policies and his outspoken criticism of players who chose to kneel during the anthem.

In the 2017 regular season, some players on the Eagles raised a fist but did not kneel. An NFL source said none of the players on the Eagles team that won the Super Bowl took a knee during the anthem during the regular season -- one player took a knee in the preseason but was cut before the regular season began. Safety Malcolm Jenkins raised his fist during the anthem to protest racial injustice before some games, but he stopped when the NFL pledged to make a $100 million donation to various charities in November.

The decision to disinvite the Eagles from the celebration was made abruptly Monday, a White House official told CNN, after the team informed the administration that very few players would be attending. The final number is unclear, this official said, but staffers were told that only between four and 10 players were coming, in addition to a handful of coaches and athletic trainers.

This infuriated Trump, who then decided to cancel the ceremony and hold one honoring the National Anthem instead. He was well aware of what the optics would be if he posed with less than a dozen players.

Aides went back and forth for several hours drafting a statement, which in the end raised many questions because of the confusing tense. Though it was attributed to Trump, it varied between first- and third-person throughout.

Several staffers had been involved in planning the celebration, including White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, an Eagles fan.

It is still unclear what the patriotic celebration will look like Tuesday afternoon, even to White House officials, but Trump was insistent on holding an event. It could very well likely end up being just dozens of staffers, a source noted.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 726600

Reported Deaths: 13379
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion992781737
Lake53359964
Allen40387675
St. Joseph35449550
Hamilton35440408
Elkhart28376439
Tippecanoe22336217
Vanderburgh22271396
Porter18637306
Johnson17876377
Hendricks17154314
Clark12919191
Madison12574339
Vigo12426245
Monroe11845169
LaPorte11773210
Delaware10615185
Howard9859215
Kosciusko9366117
Hancock8239140
Bartholomew8042155
Warrick7766155
Floyd7645177
Grant7019174
Wayne7018199
Boone6669101
Morgan6547139
Dubois6148117
Marshall6000111
Dearborn578577
Cass5780105
Henry5681102
Noble558283
Jackson500472
Shelby489496
Lawrence4492120
Gibson434391
Harrison434271
Clinton426853
DeKalb425284
Montgomery423388
Whitley394439
Huntington387480
Steuben382957
Miami380266
Knox371890
Jasper362747
Putnam358560
Wabash353178
Adams340654
Ripley338970
Jefferson328881
White312854
Daviess295899
Wells290481
Decatur283592
Fayette278662
Greene276685
Posey270933
LaGrange264770
Scott264753
Clay259245
Randolph239781
Washington239532
Spencer231331
Jennings229248
Starke214452
Fountain211946
Sullivan211042
Owen197056
Fulton194640
Jay191830
Carroll188120
Perry182637
Orange182454
Rush172925
Vermillion168343
Franklin167735
Tipton162345
Parke145916
Blackford134532
Pike133034
Pulaski116045
Newton107034
Brown101541
Crawford99114
Benton98414
Martin87815
Warren81415
Switzerland7848
Union70710
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1080121

Reported Deaths: 19344
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1254981392
Cuyahoga1115202107
Hamilton798171200
Montgomery512711012
Summit46997933
Lucas41982782
Butler38273580
Stark32190907
Lorain24910480
Warren24249297
Mahoning21474586
Lake20586368
Clermont19727238
Delaware18496131
Licking16396210
Fairfield16144199
Trumbull15996466
Medina15233262
Greene15027244
Clark13960297
Wood13056188
Portage12806201
Allen11609231
Richland11308198
Miami10659215
Muskingum8795132
Wayne8777210
Columbiana8756229
Pickaway8547121
Marion8511135
Tuscarawas8467243
Erie7859154
Hancock6900126
Ross6835152
Ashtabula6777169
Geauga6665148
Scioto6398101
Belmont5856167
Union570047
Lawrence5542102
Jefferson5511151
Huron5422119
Darke5344122
Sandusky5330120
Seneca5268121
Athens518258
Washington5148109
Auglaize488484
Mercer480185
Shelby468593
Knox4479110
Madison435461
Putnam4268100
Ashland421289
Fulton420969
Defiance418997
Crawford3965106
Brown392957
Logan381176
Preble379098
Clinton370561
Ottawa366279
Highland353861
Williams338075
Champaign330458
Guernsey315453
Jackson312051
Perry294550
Morrow283839
Fayette281449
Hardin270364
Henry268166
Coshocton264258
Holmes2590101
Van Wert242863
Pike237433
Adams237052
Gallia235048
Wyandot230654
Hocking215162
Carroll191247
Paulding172440
Meigs144639
Noble133337
Monroe131942
Morgan108323
Harrison107537
Vinton82415
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 41°
Angola
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 42°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 51°
A cold start Saturday with widespread frost expected. We'll see plenty of sunshine for most of the day. Then, clouds build in during the late afternoon and evening.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events