SOUTH PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The controversy surrounding president Trump disinviting the Eagles to the White House only grew yesterday after more players got involved.
Yesterday what was supposed to be an event honoring the Eagles was just an event to show American pride.
The White House was clear in its message yesterday. It says the Eagles planned on using that White House appearance as a political stunt.
White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said, "If this wasn't a political stunt by the Eagles franchise, then they wouldn't have planned to attend the event and then backed out at the last minute. And if it wasn't a political stunt, they wouldn't have attempted to reschedule the visit when they knew that the president was going to be overseas and if this wasn't a political stunt, they wouldn't have waited until Monday, well after a thousand of their fans had traveled and taken time out of their schedules to offer only a tiny handful of representatives to attend the event. "
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney responded to Sanders on CNN. He said Sanders lies from her podium everyday so he has no reason to believe her statement about the Eagles was accurate. Kenney went on to say he believes the White House and President Trump are the ones pulling a stunt. Kenney said, "I think that this is all a stunt, and I think that the President is playing the NFL like a fiddle and these players are caught in the middle. Not one Philadelphia Eagle took a knee last season, not one stayed in the locker room during the anthem. He's making it up as he goes along in an effort to divide this country more than he has already."
Kenney has been an outspoken opponent of Trump since he took office. But what he says is true…not one Eagle player took a knee last season.
However, on Fox News Channel yesterday, they'd have you thinking otherwise. Eagles star tight end, Zach Ertz, took to social media yesterday to defend himself after Fox showed pictures of players praying on the field while reporting on the story, insinuating the kneeling players were protesting.
Fox News later apologized for showing the unrelated footage during their broadcast.
The Eagles will take part in organized team activities at the Nova Care Complex later today. There is a media opportunity afterwards with Coach Pederson and players. You can bet reporters will be asking questions about the comments from the White House.