Philadelphia’s mayor called President Trump a “fragile egomaniac,” and accused him of not being a “true patriot.”
Mayor Jim Kenney released the following statement in response to Trump’s decision:
The Eagles call the birthplace of our democracy home, so it’s no surprise that this team embodies everything that makes our country and our city great. Their athletic accomplishments on the field led to an historic victory this year. Fans all across the country rallied behind them because we like to root for the underdog and we feel joy when we see the underdogs finally win. I’m equally proud of the Eagles’ activism off the field. 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.
While some have pointed out that no Eagles players actually knelt for the anthem this year, that fact obscures larger issues. According to NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo, the Eagles were going to send a contingent of less than ten players to the White House:
Details on why the Eagles made their decision to send a smaller contingent, leading to Trump pulling the plug on the visit. pic.twitter.com/k3Adv6LNZy
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 4, 2018
The optics of Trump standing in front of the cameras with less than one-fifth of the Eagles roster, would have been unacceptable. Not to mention the 1,000 fans who were scheduled to attend the event. Had the Eagles group of less than ten shown actually shown up, fans would have outnumbered players better than 100:1.
So, whether the Eagles knelt this year or not, they planned to take a symbolic knee on President Trump and the White House on Tuesday. Putting President Trump in an impossible position where he had to act.
Trump did say however, that a celebration will still be held, even without the Super Bowl champs.
According to Breitbart’s Michelle Moons, “Trump instead invited the fans to still come to the White House, but ‘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,” Trump concluded.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn