The White House has issued another statement regarding President Donald Trump's decision to disinvite the Philadelphia Eagles to a celebration of the team's Super Bowl win.
Per Jonathan Tamari of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the White House noted the Eagles attempted to reschedule their trip because "many players would not be in attendance":
The Eagles were invited to take part in a celebration at the White House on Tuesday.
However, on Monday night, Trump tweeted the event was canceled, citing the small number of Eagles personnel expected to attend and criticizing details of the NFL's new national anthem policy:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!
Per the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie decided to send a smaller contingent to Washington D.C. after meeting with players and not wanting to put them in a difficult spot.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins released a statement on Twitter accusing President Trump of lying:
Wide receiver Torrey Smith, who played for the Eagles last season before being traded to the Carolina Panthers in March, tweeted no one on the team "refused to go simply because Trump 'insists' folks stand for the anthem."
Last September, Trump told spectators at a rally in Alabama he would like to see NFL owners fire any player who takes a knee during the national anthem.
The NFL announced last month all team personnel must stand during the national anthem starting next season or teams will be fined, and anyone who doesn't want to partake in the pregame ceremony can remain in the locker room.