President Donald Trump issued a statement canceling the trip, citing the national anthem as the reason.
“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow,” the statement reads. “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 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.”
The Eagles recently held meetings with their players, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Media. Owner Jeff Lurie opted to send a smaller contingent to avoid putting his players in a “tough spot.”
Now, though, none will go.