Eagles Fans Mysteriously Absent At Trump’s ‘Celebration of America’
No one in Eagles gear knew the name of the team’s quarterback.
Where have all the Eagles fans gone?
After Donald Trump rescinded his White House invitation to the Super Bowl champion team Philadelphia Eagles on June 4 — a day before the planned event —he invited the fans back for a second event. No one showed.
The team was reportedly disinvited because only about a dozen people from the Eagles organization said they were coming. According to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, 81 members of the organization originally said they would attend.
In a statement, Trump said that “well over 1,000 of [sic] Eagles fans traveled and took time out of their schedules” to attend the event and that they “deserved better.” Given the president’s shaky history with attendance figures, one should be critical of his estimate.
Photo by Gov. Tom Wolf/Flickr.
After the event was canceled, Trump invited Eagles fans to a “Celebration of America” on the White House lawn instead.
But it appeared as though barely any of those thousand Eagles fans bothered to show up. Although there were a few people wearing Eagles gear at the event, according to a reporter, none of those he spoke to knew the name of the Eagles’ quarterback.
As it turns out, just about everyone at the event was part of the president’s staff. A BBC reporter found a crumpled invite on the ground at the event.
I spoke to a couple dozen guests at the Celebrating America party, the one that was originally for the Eagles (before they got disinvited), and the guests were mostly White House officials. Turns out EOP Staff was invited, as I learned from an email on the ground. Strange party. pic.twitter.com/RQj2iyzk97— Tara McKelvey (@Tara_Mckelvey) June 5, 2018\n
An email went out to all White House staffers inviting them to attend today’s “Celebration of America”. Among the crowd were very very few @Eagles fans - I counted 2 hats and one Carson Wentz jersey @realDonaldTrump #Eagles pic.twitter.com/gg4VZ14IVn— Jamie Apody (@JamieApody) June 5, 2018\n
With or without Eagles fans, the “Celebration of America” only lasted about 10 minutes and featured the U.S. Marine Band and U.S. Army Chorus’ renditions of “God Bless America” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Trump took the opportunity to bash NFL players who kneeled during the anthem in an effort to bring awareness to social justice causes.
“We love our country. We respect our flag. And we always proudly stand for the national anthem,” Trump told the crowd. “We always will stand for the national anthem.”
Not one player on the Eagles sat or kneeled during the anthem during the entire 2017-18 season.
But by refusing to see player protests as a call for action against inequality, Trump has made it clear yet again that he’s not standing up for NFL athletes or Americans of color.