- The White House on Monday disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles from a scheduled Tuesday visit after some players indicated they would not be attending.
- While covering the news, Fox News falsely implied that Eagles players knelt during the anthem this past season, showing images of players kneeling in prayer before and after games while talking about the White House’s decision.
- Eagles tight end Zach Ertz responded on Twitter, calling the segment “propaganda.”
On Monday, the White House disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles from their planned ceremonial White House visit.
The Eagles were prepared to carry on with the visit Tuesday in honour of their Super Bowl victory with a smaller delegation from the team, but the White House instead chose to cancel their invitation altogether.
While reporting the story, however, Fox News showed images that falsely implied Philadelphia Eagles players had been kneeling during the anthem throughout the year. The footage showed players kneeling in prayer and was not taken during the playing of the national anthem before games.
Fox News has since deleted their tweet of the segment.
The NFL recently introduced rules requiring players to stand on the field or stay in their locker room during the national anthem after some players protested police brutality and racial inequality over the past two seasons by kneeling as the anthem was played.
Some Eagles players did participate in the protests – but not by kneeling. Safety Malcolm Jenkins raised his fist as the anthem played, while other players stood arm-in-arm or with their arm around Jenkins in solidarity.
Tight end Zach Ertz, who was shown kneeling during the Fox News segment, used Twitter to express his anger over the matter.
This can’t be serious…. Praying before games with my teammates, well before the anthem, is being used for your propaganda?! Just sad, I feel like you guys should have to be better than this… https://t.co/kYeyH2zXdK
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) June 5, 2018
On Tuesday, Christopher Wallace, the executive producer of “Fox News at Night with Shannon Bream,” which showed the segment, issued an apology:
“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. To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or postseason last year. We apologise for the error.”
The White House said in a statement that it still planned to host some Eagles fans Tuesday for a ceremony it said would “honour our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the national anthem.”
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