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 Trump tweeted that the invitation was “withdrawn,” leading to backlash from athletes, including LeBron James, who notably called the president a “bum.”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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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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