President Trump cancels Philadelphia Eagles’ White House visit

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, right, hands the Vincent Lombardi trophy to Nick Foles after winning the NFL Super Bowl 52. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

President Donald Trump disinvited Monday the Philadelphia Eagles from a planned White House event to celebrate the Super Bowl champions, citing some players’ decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest social injustice.

The move to scrap the visit — originally planned for Tuesday — comes after a tumultuous 2017 season that saw Trump launch furious assaults on mostly black NFL players who took the knee.

“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow,” Trump said in a statement.

“They 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.”

The Eagles’ ranks contain several prominent figures from the NFL player protest movement, and safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Chris Long were among several who had already indicated they planned not to attend.

“The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better,” Trump said.

“These fans are still invited to the White House to be part of a different type of ceremony — one that will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it and loudly and proudly play the national anthem.

“I will be there at 3:00 pm (1900 GMT) with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.”

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has also been critical of Trump, and reportedly described his presidency as “disastrous.”

The move comes after a rift between Trump and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors earlier this year.

Trump had withdrawn an invitation to the team to attend after star Stephen Curry and other players indicated a reluctance to attend.

The Warriors instead took a group of children on a visit to Washington’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. (Agence France-Presse)