President Donald Trump declared Tuesday morning that there would be "no escaping to locker rooms" at a White House event that was supposed to honor the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles but instead feature the national anthem and other patriotic music.
His pointed tweet comes less than a day after he abruptly disinvited the Eagles from the White House event scheduled in their honor because some members of the team protested during the playing of the national anthem before games last season, an issue Trump has highlighted over the last year.
“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! NFL, no escaping to Locker Rooms!” the president tweeted, adding in a second post, "We have had many Championship teams recently at the White House including the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Penguins, New England Patriots, Alabama and Clemson National Champions, and many others. National Anthem & more great music today at 3:00 P.M."
Despite Trump’s disinvitation to the Eagles, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that less than 10 players were expected to visit the White House. Trump said in a statement released Monday night that "the Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better."
Trump has regularly criticized NFL players who protest social and racial injustice and police brutality in America by kneeling or otherwise protesting during the National Anthem. He recently praised the NFL after instituting a new rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field, with the team facing a fine if they don’t.
The players, however, can remain in a locker room during the performing of the anthem if they wish, a compromise the president offered light criticism of.
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