We’re finding out exactly what the White House meant when it said the Eagles were prepared to send “a tiny handful” of team representatives on Tuesday afternoon.
Eventually, the president canceled the event and instead held a “Celebration of America,” while the Eagles used the day to get in a lighter OTA practice.
But what constituted “a tiny handful” of representatives?
Well, according to a report by NFL Network, possibly just two players — one was Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles — were going to be on the South Lawn if the White House went through with the ceremony.
That report fits with Politico’s Annie Karni’s report earlier in the day. Karni was told by a White House official that two or three players, along with owner Jeff Lurie and Swoop — yeah, the mascot — would be the group in attendance.
Twenty minutes before President Donald Trump gathered some folks (they didn’t seem like Eagles fans) on the South Lawn, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this was a “political stunt” by the Eagles.
The Eagles still have practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week; both sessions are open to reporters. Head coach Doug Pederson is scheduled to speak with reporters at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
After Donald Trump announced on Monday that the smaller Eagles delegation that was planning to visit him had been disinvited, the White House issued a statement on Tuesday morning stating that, "The vast majority of the Eagles team decided to abandon their fans."
What fans were those exactly?
President Trump's statement Monday said that 1,000 fans planned to attend the event prior to the cancelation and that they would instead be treated to a celebration of America. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that "well over 1,000 of Eagles fans traveled and took time out of their schedules" to be there.
So where were all of the Eagles fans that the team allegedly abandoned?
Tough to say.
There were plenty of suits in the crowd. But not a lot of green.
Reports from ABC indicated that the "White House blasted an email to all staffers this morning inviting them to attend the event" and that many in attendance actually "had [White House] badges tucked into jackets & shirts."
Other reporters received a lot of "blank stares" from the crowd when attempting to find people actually from Philadelphia.
Perhaps the biggest indication in the lack of Birds fans was this viral tweet from NBC10's Tim Furlong: "I’ve asked 6 of the 'fans' at the White House who was the @Eagles quarterback during the super bowl. Not ONE person knew."
You can see Furlong's report from Washington below in which he said he saw literally only one or two pieces of Eagles memorabilia, but you won't see many Eagles fans in that either.
It doesn’t seem like the NBA is going to have to go through this charade in a few months.
Neither the Cavaliers nor the Warriors — both are in the NBA Finals now — are going to go the White House for a celebratory visit.
Some star players from both teams were asked about President Donald Trump’s decision to disinvite the Eagles to the White House, a visit that was supposed to happen today.
Trump’s disinviting a team to the White House wasn’t a method reserved for the Eagles. In fact, he told the Warriors they weren't invited after Golden State won the NBA championship last year.
When the president disinvited the Eagles, he claimed the team disagreed with him insisting that “they proudly stand for the National anthem,” although every Eagles player during the 2017 regular season and playoffs stood during the anthem.
While the NFL recently passed a new rule in the hopes to eliminate protests during the national anthem, the NBA actually has a rule that requires players to stand during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.