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Trump issues a major statement against NFL players refusing White House visit

President Trump released a statement disinviting the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House after some team members indicated that they would not be attending. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

In a statement released Monday, President Trump cancelled a visit by the Philadelphia Eagles, a customary celebration of the Super Bowl champion team, because of the national anthem kneeling controversy.

Here's what the president said

"The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow," the statement from the president read.

"They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem," he added, "hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country."

"The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better," he explained. "These fans are still invited to the White House to be a part of a different type of ceremony - one that will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem."

"I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America," the statement concluded.

A growing controversy

Trump entered the national anthem kneeling controversy when he criticized football players during a speech at a rally in Pennsylvania.

More recently, the NFL handed down a rule banning kneeling protests during the national anthem, but allowed players to stay in the locker room during the performance if they didn't want to stand. Several players objected to the ban and criticized the league.

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