FOX News Channel, the preferred viewing and interview-giving destination of the President, has used images of Eagles players kneeling in prayer when discussing the issue of the Eagles not visiting the White House, ostensibly due to kneeling during the anthem. The purpose was subtle yet obvious: FOX News was creating the impression that Eagles players kneel during the anthem. Even though they don’t.
Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long noticed, and he has responded.
“Imagine wanting to please the boss so very badly that you run stills of guys knelt down PRAYING during pregame,” Long said on Twitter. “Not one Eagles player knelt for the anthem this [year]. Keep carrying his water to sow division while misrepresenting Christian men. Aren’t many of your viewers.. never mind.”
Said tight end Zach Ertz, one of the Eagles shown kneeling: “This can’t be serious…. Praying before games with my teammates, well before the anthem, is being used for your propaganda?! Just sad, I feel like you guys should have to be better than this…”
Long also addressed the deeper issue of blaming the cancellation of the White House visit on the anthem issue.
“You’re complicit in PLAYING America,” Long said to FOX News. “This is just another day at the office for you, though. Most players (and there were many players, many players…) that wanted to opt out had decided long [before] the anthem rule came down. It wasn’t discussed once in our meetings about the visit.”
Indeed, plenty of Patriots players chose not to attend the White House visit last year, months before the President made anthem standing a lightning rod for rallying his base. And the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, like the Eagles, were uninvited to the White House, but not because of the anthem — but because not enough of them were willing to go.
That’s ultimately what happened here. Not enough Eagles were willing to go to the White House, to the point where the absences would have been too conspicuous, especially for someone who seems to prefer all things bigly.