Monday, June 4, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He disinvited the Super Bowl champions from a White House visit, and then lied about why.

This evening, less than a day before the Philadelphia Eagles were scheduled for a White House celebration of their victory in Super Bowl LII, Trump abruptly rescinded their invitation. In a statement, Trump claimed that they event had been canceled because "They 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."

In reality, no Eagles players took part in kneeling demonstrations, and none have made any comments whatsoever regarding the military. In fact, no player on any team who knelt for the anthem or expressed support for players who did was protesting the United States military. 

The actual reason Trump canceled the event seems to be that many of the Eagles players--including, reportedly, most or all of the team's African-American players--were unwilling to attend in the first place. 

This is not the first time that Trump has invited and then disinvited a majority-black sports team from a White House visit for fear that they would not provide the desired photo opportunity. He canceled the Golden State Warriors' visit in an angry tweet, singling out star player Steph Curry, when the players scheduled a meeting to discuss whether or not to attend. 

Why should I care about this?

  • Presidents can't force people to want to associate with them.
  • It's wrong to lie.