Trump brags about his patriotism after cancelling NFL champions' WH visit

    05 de junio de 2018

    Washington, Jun 5 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Tuesday headed a patriotic event at the White House after cancelling the visit to the presidential residence by the National Football League champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, because of the refusal of many of the players to attend.

    Most of the Philadelphia team invited to attend the previously scheduled event to honor them as US football champions opted not to attend, and so Trump - stung by the snub - changed the plans and scheduled a patriotic demonstration of respect for the US flag and the National Anthem instead.

    The US Army Chorus and the Marine Band performed at the event, which was billed as a "Celebration of America," with the participation of about 1,000 Eagles fans who had thought they would be seeing their idols at the White House.

    After asking those present to sing "America the Beautiful" and the National Anthem with him, the president delivered several patriotic messages.

    "We love our country. We respect our flag. And we always proudly stand for the National Anthem," said Trump at the start of his brief remarks on the White House lawn before the crowd.

    His short speech constituted a dart hurled at the NFL players who kneeled or crossed their arms last season during the playing of the National Anthem at their games, their behavior designed to protest police violence against African Americans.

    Despite the fact that at the beginning of the event there were some boos from the public and at least one of those in attendance kneeled during the National Anthem, the great majority of those present applauded the president's words.

    However, the president's cancellation of the team's reception did not sit well with the players or other fans.

    The NFL Players Association on Tuesday said it was "disappointed" with the cancellation, adding, "NFL players love our country, support our troops, give back to their communities and strive to make America a better place."

    Meanwhile, Philadelphia's Democratic mayor, Jim Kenney, said that Trump's cancellation of the White House reception for his city's team shows that Trump is a "fragile egomaniac."

    "Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend," said Kenney on his Twitter account.

    According to the White House, Trump had expected to welcome 81 members of the Eagles, including players, staff, coaches and owners of the franchise, however late on Friday the team asked for the event to be postponed because a large number of players had decided not to attend the traditional reception.

    Although the team suggested other dates for the event, Trump cancelled it altogether and organized the patriotic event at the last minute.

    With the event cancelled, Trump pivoted to attempting to please his political base by exhibiting his patriotism and defending some of the country's national symbols in an effort to downplay the Eagles' snub.