Fox News apologizes for implying Eagles players knelt during national anthem
Fox News apologized Tuesday for a segment that implied Philadelphia Eagles players were protesting the national anthem when they were actually kneeling in prayer prior to games.
“During our report about President Trump cancelling the Philadelphia Eagles trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win, we showed unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer,” Christopher Wallace, executive producer of “Fox News @ Night” with Shannon Bream, said in a statement.
“To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or post-season last year. We apologize for the error,” he added.
The segment, which aired following President Trump’s Monday announcement that he was disinviting the team from the White House, featured images of several Eagles players on one knee while praying before games.
The montage included images of players raising their fists in the air during the national anthem, as well. However, no Eagles players took a knee during the anthem in the 2017 season.
A Fox News tweet sharing the segment was deleted following the apology.
The Fox segment drew widespread criticism from players, and liberal and conservative commentators.
This is a deceptive photo montage showing Eagles players praying before games, not kneeling for the anthem. Truth matters. https://t.co/xD043H4XGg
— Brittany Hughes (@RealBrittHughes) June 5, 2018
I don’t know which editor put together this clip roll, but those players are knelt in prayer, not protesting the anthem https://t.co/KnbWvvPYIq
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) June 5, 2018
The pictures highlighted in this segment are of Eagles players kneeling in prayer, not in protest during the anthem. Intentionally deceptive or just plain ignorant of Fox News. Take your pick. https://t.co/zPsouALh6D
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) June 5, 2018
I agree with this. The NFL’s issues don’t need to be embellished. Eagles players didn’t kneel during the Anthem. This needs to be corrected. https://t.co/iV1oFmDPFa
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) June 5, 2018
Trump disinvited the team on Monday after it was reported the Super Bowl champions planned to only send roughly 10 players to the White House.
“The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better,” Trump said in a statement.
Instead, Trump will host a “Celebration of America” event at the White House on Tuesday afternoon.
The president has frequently criticized NFL players who protested racial injustice and police brutality by taking a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games last season, calling for them to be fired or otherwise punished.
League owners voted last month to implement a new policy that requires players to stand during the anthem next season or else face a fine. Players also have the option to remain in the locker room.
Even with the new policy, Trump continued to attack those who don’t stand for the anthem, suggesting they don’t belong in the country, and condemned the option to stay in the locker room.
Joe Concha contributed.