In a statement late Monday, Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia stated that disinviting the Eagles “from the White House 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.”
“City Hall is always open for a celebration,” he added.
It isn’t unprecedented for some athletes to skip White House celebrations of their victories, generally for political causes. A handful of New England Patriots gamers skipped the celebration in 2017. Larry Bird, the well-known Boston Celtics participant, skipped a visit with Ronald Reagan in 1984. Michael Jordan, of the Chicago Bulls, did not participate in a White House celebration with President George Bush in 1991, reportedly citing scheduling points.
But not often — if ever — has a dispute between sports activities figures and a president escalated so rapidly, and so spectacularly.
The conflict between the Eagles and the president is the fruits of a cultural controversy that Mr. Trump infected final September when he attacked the previous San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling in the course of the nationwide anthem in protest of police brutality towards African-Americans.
“Wouldn’t you like to see one in all these N.F.L. house owners, when someone disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” the president stated at an Alabama rally.
The feedback set off a fierce nationwide debate over the rights of the soccer gamers to protest throughout a second of nationwide publicity. Mr. Trump repeatedly refused to again down, saying the problem was about respect for the American flag and casting his place because the patriotic one.
And late Monday, the president reiterated these ideas. “The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House,” he tweeted. “Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event.”