Democratic lawmakers from Pennsylvania were quick to extend invitations to the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles to visit the Capitol after President Donald Trump pulled their invitation to the White House over the false notion some members of the team did not stand for the national anthem before games last season.
Contrary to the president’s statement Monday, no members of the Eagles stayed in the locker room or knelt during the national anthem before games last year, CNN anchor and Philadelphia native Jake Tapper reported.
Sen. Bob Casey tweeted Monday that he is “proud” of the Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Casey invited them to tour the Capitol instead of the White House.
I’m proud of what the @Eagles accomplished this year. I’m skipping this political stunt at the White House and just invited the Eagles to Congress. @Eagles How about a tour of the Capitol? https://t.co/niWR7zkSYx— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) June 4, 2018
Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democrat from Pennsylvania’s 13th District, which includes parts of Philadelphia, said Trump’s challenge to the Eagles was a “whole new level” for the president.
“It’s one thing to be wrong on policy, but to take on my Eagles is a whole new level,” Boyle tweeted Monday night. “You even make a championship team visiting the White House all about you. What is wrong with you? Seriously, what condition do you have?”
Boyle also invited the Eagles to the Capitol.
Hey @realDonaldTrump it’s one thing to be wrong on policy, but to take on my @Eagles is a whole new level. You even make a championship team visiting the White House all about you. What is wrong with you? Seriously, what condition do you have? https://t.co/QOknsH20Ln— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) June 4, 2018
Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) June 4, 2018
The president uninvited the Eagles after reports surfaced that fewer than a dozen planned to show up to the White House for the annual celebration of the previous season’s Super Bowl champions.
But in a news release Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders falsely claimed the Eagles “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.”
No Eagles players knelt or stayed in the locker room for the national anthem last season.
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
Democratic lawmakers weren’t the only prominent political figures to criticize the president for canceling the Eagles’ visit. A handful of conservative pundits weighed in on the matter too.
Former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly tweeted that Trump’s disinvitation was a “pure populist play that did not have to happen.”
President Trump continues to milk the NFL-Anthem controversy by disinviting the @Eagles from being recognized at the WH for winning the Super Bowl. This is a pure populist play that did not have to happen. We’ll tell you why Mr. Trump did this tonight on https://t.co/fqUvO5EEW0.— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) June 5, 2018
Los Angeles Times columnist and National Review editor Jonah Goldberg said the president’s decision amounted to “deceitful propaganda” and that conservatives “should have zero to do with it.”
The attempt to make the Eagles event cancellation about the national anthem is just a complete act of deceitful propaganda and conservatives should have zero to do with it. If that was the issue, why schedule the event in the first place? Also: None of them kneeled. Shameful.— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) June 5, 2018
The Eagles aren’t the first championship sports team Trump has turned his nose up at during his presidency.
He broke a 54-year tradition of presidents offering to host the reigning NBA champions when he uninvited the Golden State Warriors from their scheduled visit this January.
That move earned the public ire of scores of NBA figures, including the league’s preeminent star, LeBron James, who called the president a “bum.”