Shocking new development: the 71-year-old trust fund kid that has his finger on the big button that controls the world’s largest stash of nuclear weapons has thrown yet another temper tantrum because not everybody loves him as much as he loves himself.
The White House issued a statement in Trump‘s name this afternoon, announcing that Super Bowl winners the Philly Eagles were no longer coming to the White House for the traditional visit because too many of them had opted not to attend:
The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. 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 wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better. 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 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.
In one of Trump’s many bouts of Twitter-based diarrhoea, he explicitly says that it was the White House cancelled the event, and blamed it on players kneeling or staying in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem:
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
This is somewhat interesting because, as the Washington Times reported, the Eagles were one of the just seven teams in the league that had zero players kneel during the 2017 season (although one player who did not make the 2017 team did kneel before a preseason game).
Several players had already announced their intention not to attend the White House visit immediately in the wake up of their Super Bowl win, but The Inquirer is reporting, that in the end, less than 10 players had intended to go.
Philly mayor Jim Kenney pulled no punches, saying Trump cancelled the event because he was embarrassed that no one wanted to go:
These are players who stand up for the causes they believe in and who contribute in meaningful ways to their community. They represent the diversity of our nation—a nation in which we are free to express our opinions.
Disinviting them 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.
Kneeling during the anthem in the NFL became a contentious issue after former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began doing it in 2016 to protest racial injustice in the US – a gesture he settled on in consultation with a US military veteran because he felt that sitting on the bench was too disrespectful.
The US government and right-wing media were extremely successful in reshaping the narrative, casting those who knelt during the anthem as intentionally disrespecting American’s veterans – a leap of logic that would really only work in America.
Because freedom is a ‘sometimes’ thing, apparently, the NFL ruled in late May that any teams with players that kneel during the anthem would be hit with a fine, and they had previously been considering hitting those teams with a 15-yard penalty.
Trump’s freedom-loving sycophants responded in a way that makes just as much sense as you would guess:
DEPORT PLAYERS THAT DON’T STAND FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM!
— Jacob Wohl (@JacobAWohl) June 5, 2018
What a clusterfuck.Image: Getty Images / Win McNamee