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Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told CNN that he stands for the anthem — and it's all because he's a "privileged white male."
What did he say?
Responding to President Donald Trump's announcement that the Philadelphia Eagles would not be permitted to visit the White House, Kenney told CNN's John Berman that he supports players' rights to "express their discontent."
"Athletes are American citizens who have the First Amendment right to express their views," Kenney told Berman.
"I stand when the anthem’s played with my hand over my heart because I’m a privileged white male," he added. "There are other people in this country who the issue of this country has affected them differently, and they have a right to express their discontent and a right to express the fact that they're protesting against certain things. And no one has the right to take that away."
In a Monday statement, Trump said, "The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow."
"They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem," Trump's statement 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," the statement continued. "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."
The president's statement concluded, "I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America."
During his discussion with Berman, Kenney also detailed his fear of Trump.
"I don't how you can make your case to a child who acts childish, who changes his opinion and his statements every single day and who, frankly, frightens me more than I was frightened in 1968 during the height of the Vietnam War," Kenney said. "And the guy is just a scary guy, and I don't – hopefully, by the time he's gone, we can recover from this mess, but this is a bad time in our country."
Kenney first expressed his displeasure at Trump's announcement about the Eagles in a Monday night statement on the matter.
“The Eagles call the birthplace of our democracy home, so it’s no surprise that this team embodies everything that makes our country and our city great,” Kenney said in his statement.
“Their athletic accomplishments on the field led to an historic victory this year,” he added. “Fans all across the country rallied behind them because we like to root for the underdog and we feel joy when we see the underdogs finally win. I’m equally proud of the Eagles’ activism off the field.”
“These are players who stand up for the causes they believe in and who contribute in meaningful ways to their community,” Kenney said. “They represent the diversity of our nation — a nation in which we are free to express our opinions.”
Kenney went on to call the president a crowd-obsessed "fragile egomaniac" who is "not a true patriot."
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