It's blatant retaliation for NFL players kneeling during the national anthem — except the Eagles never kneeled.
So when Fox News reported the cancellation over footage of Eagles players kneeling, the players were quick to punt back. Tight end Zach Ertz clarified that they weren't kneeling in protest, they were kneeling in prayer, and called the manipulative usage of the images "propaganda."
This can’t be serious.... Praying before games with my teammates, well before the anthem, is being used for your propaganda?! Just sad, I feel like you guys should have to be better than this... https://t.co/kYeyH2zXdK
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) June 5, 2018
Defensive end Chris Long went even further, implying that Trump is Fox News' "boss."
Imagine wanting to please the boss so very badly that you run stills of guys knelt down PRAYING during pregame. Not one Eagles player knelt for the anthem this yr. Keep carrying his water to sow division while misrepresenting Christian men. Aren’t many of your viewers.. nevermind https://t.co/QdlOvL0btq
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) June 5, 2018
And wide receiver Torrey Smith concisely dispelled with the notion that any Eagle kneeled during the 2017-18 regular season.
If someone took a knee during those 16 games I missed it https://t.co/hzMz9VKQC2
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) June 5, 2018
Even if players weren't kneeling, Trump tweeted that staying in the locker room during the anthem was just as bad. (The Eagles didn't do that either.) Kathryn Krawczyk
Update 11:01 a.m. ET: Fox News issued an apology for using the "unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer" in its segment about the canceled White House visit. You can read their full statement here.