Trump to NFL: ‘No escaping to locker rooms’


“We are going to proudly be enjoying the Nationwide Anthem and different great music celebrating our Nation immediately at three P.M., The White Home, with america Marine Band and america Military Refrain. Honoring America!” Trump posted on Twitter.

He added, “NFL, no escaping to Locker Rooms!,” a reference to a new NFL policy giving gamers the choice of remaining off the sphere in the course of the enjoying of the anthem in the event that they select to not stand for it. Final month, the NFL announced teams could choose to require athletes of their arenas to face in the course of the enjoying of the anthem or face fines.

Trump introduced Monday he can be canceling the Eagles’ go to over the controversy about standing for the Nationwide Anthem at NFL video games, and as an alternative internet hosting a “Celebration of America” occasion. In a follow-up tweet on Tuesday, Trump touted different championship groups that had visited the White Home throughout his presidency.

The choice to cancel the Eagles’ go to over the protests — which have been spurred by black athletes over what they imagine is systemic abuse by police in opposition to individuals of colour — threatens to reignite a long-simmering, racially-tinged controversy.

Gamers on the Eagles are a number of the most outspoken social justice activists within the NFL, and a number of gamers took half within the protests in the course of the anthem during the last two seasons. Many gamers from the group weren’t planning on attending the ceremony as a protest of Trump, his insurance policies and his outspoken criticism of gamers who selected to kneel in the course of the anthem.

An NFL supply mentioned not one of the gamers on the Eagles group that gained the Tremendous Bowl took a knee in the course of the anthem in the course of the common season — one participant took a knee within the preseason however was reduce earlier than the common season started. Security Malcolm Jenkins raised his fist in the course of the anthem to protest racial injustice earlier than some video games, however he stopped when the NFL pledged to make a $100 million donation to numerous charities in November.

The choice to disinvite the Eagles from the celebration was made abruptly Monday, a White Home official tells CNN, after the group knowledgeable the administration that only a few gamers can be attending. The ultimate quantity is unclear, this official mentioned, however staffers have been instructed that solely between 4 and 10 gamers have been coming, along with a handful of coaches and athletic trainers.

This infuriated Trump, who then determined to cancel the ceremony and maintain one honoring the nationwide anthem as an alternative. He was properly conscious of what the optics can be if he posed with lower than a dozen gamers.

Aides went forwards and backwards for a number of hours drafting an announcement, which in the long run raised many questions due to the complicated tense. Although it was attributed to Trump, it assorted between first- and third-person all through.

A number of staffers had been concerned in planning the celebration, together with White Home counselor Kellyanne Conway.

It’s nonetheless unclear what the patriotic celebration will appear like Tuesday afternoon, even to White Home officers, however Trump was insistent on holding an occasion. It may very properly seemingly find yourself being simply dozens of staffers, a supply famous.

CNN’s Allie Malloy, Sophie Tatum, Jill Martin and Jake Tapper contributed to this report.

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