Trump bans Eagles from White House visit
United States president Donald Trump issued a statement banning Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles from visiting the White House.
The Eagles held meetings with their players in recent weeks in regard to the trip, according to NFL.com.
The report said Eagles owner Jeff Lurie did not want to put the players in a tough spot, so he decided to send a smaller contingent to the White House. Other players were going to have an optional day at the facility. Now, there will be no trip at all.
"The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow," a statement from Trump read.
"They disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem, hand on heart, in honour 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 honour our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the national anthem."
Philadelphia defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl last season to earn a trip to the White House, but like other teams with the same opportunity, chose to allow players the option to remain home.
Last week, the NFL announced a new rule banning players from kneeling in protest during the playing of the national anthem before games. If they choose not to stand, they can stay in the locker room, but if they violate the new rule, their teams will be fined.
President Trump was in favour of the new rule.
Eagles representatives visited the Pennsylvania Capitol on Monday.