The White House on Monday canceled the scheduled visit of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Super Bowl champions were expected to visit the White House and celebrate their victory with President Donald Trump on Tuesday, but in a statement Monday night, the president said the team was “unable to attend” and cited players’ decisions to kneel for the national anthem in protest of police brutality. “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,” Trump said. “The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.” '
The president said the White House would still hold a ceremony to “honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem.” Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) called the White House event a “political stunt” and invited the team to Capitol Hill instead. Jim Kenney, the Democratic mayor of Philadelphia, blasted the decision, which Kenney said “only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend.”