Most of the Philadelphia Eagles Said They Wouldn’t Go to the White House. So Trump Disinvited the Whole Team.

First the NBA champion Warriors, and now the Super Bowl winners.

Olivier Douliery / Pool via CNP/AP

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On Monday, President Donald Trump called off the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles’ visit to the White House, saying in a statement that players and team officials “disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem.”

The announcement came a day before the Eagles’ scheduled visit and followed months of uncertainty about whether players would go to Washington at all. Several high-profile players, including safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Chris Long, had said they wouldn’t visit Trump’s White House, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that a large group of players, including a large majority of the team’s black players, also planned to skip the ceremony. 

Former Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith, who was recently traded to the Carolina Panthers and who had indicated he would not join his former teammates in Washington, called the president’s action on Monday night “cowardly.”  

https://twitter.com/TorreySmithWR/status/1003785689555664897

https://twitter.com/TorreySmithWR/status/1003788133534715906

The Eagles are the second team to have their White House visit canceled by Trump. Last September, a day after the president said that NFL owners should fire players who protested during the national anthem, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry told reporters he didn’t want to go to Washington. Trump tweeted that the invitation was “withdrawn,” leading to backlash from athletes, including LeBron James, who notably called the president a “bum.” 

Meanwhile, in late May, NFL owners caved to the president’s pressure and enacted a new policy that allowed the league to fine teams if players or staffers refused to “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.” And the Wall Street Journal recently reported that, in a sworn deposition for a collusion case filed by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that Trump told him the league’s handling of the national anthem was a “very winning, strong issue” for him: “Tell everybody, you can’t win this one. This one lifts me.” 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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