A day before the Philadelphia Eagles were scheduled to appear at the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory, President Donald Trump disinvited the team and claiming it was due to the players disagreeing “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.”
During a short news segment Monday night, Fox News’ Shannon Bream recapped the basics of the story. As she did so, a series of photos of Eagles players kneeling on the field was shown.
Only one problem, though. No Eagles players knelt during the playing of the national anthem last season. Therefore, the images of kneeling Philly players actually consisted of athletes who were getting down on a knee and praying before and after games.
After Fox News shared the segment on its Twitter account, one of the players who was included in the news montage, tight end Zach Ertz, clapped back, accusing the network of using him and his teammates as 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
Eagles defensive end Chris Long also chimed in about the misleading clip:
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
In the wake of the president’s decision to revoke the Eagles invitation — a decision that appears to be based on the fact that only a handful of players were actually going to show up — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tore into Trump, calling him “a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend.”
The executive producer of Fox News @ Night, Christopher Wallace, issued a statement Tuesday morning following the outcry over the segment.
“During our report about President Trump canceling the Philadelphia Eagles trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win, we showed unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer,” Wallace stated. “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.”
A Fox News spokesperson also confirmed to Contemptor that the segment will be addressed on air.
Watch the clip above, via Fox News.