Zach Ertz came out and publicly spoke out against Fox News’ coverage of Donald Trump’s cancellation of Philadelphia Eagles visit to the White House. Fox News irresponsibly used still photos of Ertz and others kneeling as part of their coverage. The headline mentioned the Philadelphia Eagles players did not want to go as being anti-anthem.
It’s not happenstance that editorial standards were completely overlooked here. A rudimentary amount of research could alter the biased narrative that Fox News affiliates wanted to spin. But the truth of the matter is Ertz and company were not kneeling in support of a so-called anthem protest but were instead praying.
But, what’s even worse, is how none of the Eagles participated in any protest last season. In response, Ertz blasted Fox News and suggested the photos were meant to make it look like players were protesting during the national anthem when they were simply kneeling in prayer:
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… https://t.co/kYeyH2zXdK
Following Ertz’s tweet, Fox News issued the following statement:
“During our report about President Trump canceling the Philadelphia Eagles trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win, we showed unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer. To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or postseason last year. We apologize for the error.”
Per CNN, a statement released Monday on Trump’s behalf stated the visit was cancelled because “[The Eagles] 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 military and the people of our country.”
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Monday that the Eagles planned to send a “smaller contingent” of players to the White House so as not to put players in a “tough spot” before the visit was ultimately called off.
Defensive end Chris Long has often criticized Trump, and he did not attend the White House visit awarded to the New England Patriots last year following their Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons.
The Eagles defeated the Pats 41-33 in Super Bowl LII this year, to earn the customary invite to meet the president. The Philadelphia Eagles are joined by the Golden State Warriors as major professional sports franchises that have basically opted out of visiting Trump in the White House.