Fox News on Monday evening falsely attacked the Philadelphia Eagles as having kneeled during the national anthem last season by using footage of the players when they were actually kneeling in prayer.
As Fox News @ Night host Shannon Bream explained President Donald Trump’s cancellation of a White House visit with the Super Bowl champions because fewer than 10 players said they’d attend, Fox ran images of the Eagles in prayer.
The suggestion was that the Eagles actively protested the national anthem last season, as Bream specified that the team’s decision not to meet Trump came amid an ongoing debate over players kneeling during pre-game performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
As it turns out, no Eagles players have ever kneeled on-field during the anthem.
The clip went viral online Tuesday morning, especially after Eagles tight end Zach Ertz called it out, slamming Fox News and its “propaganda” footage.
The blatantly deceptive video even earned rebuking from prominent conservatives, including the National Review’s Jonah Goldberg and NewsBusters, a right-wing media watchdog site that frequently has its writers appear on Fox News.
Fox News @ Night is ostensibly considered among the network’s “hard-news” roster—as opposed to its commentary wing that includes Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.
Its executive producer Christopher Wallace released a statement Tuesday morning apologizing for the mishap.
“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,” Wallace wrote. “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.”
“I hope you’ll accept our humble apology,” Bream tweeted shortly thereafter.
While the footage allegedly ran in error, the portrayal of the Eagles players comports with Fox’s overall treatment of NFL athletes amid the kneeling controversy. Fox News hosts have spent considerable time admonishing players who kneel and siding with Trump in his various and repeated crusades against the league.
“What are [they] kneeling for at this point? Because you talk about social injustice,” Fox & Friends Weekend host Pete Hegseth once declared: “This is the least sexist, least racist, most free, most equal, most prosperous country in the history of humankind.”
And Tuesday morning on Fox & Friends, co-host Abby Huntsman suggested players need to show more respect—like that of Gold Star families, who visited the White House earlier this week.
“I wonder if any of the members of the Gold Star families yesterday at that event would’ve said they wouldn’t want to come to the White House,” Huntsman said. “What a difference, right?”