For Pete's Sake

Fox News apologizes after Eagles player calls network's anthem story 'propaganda'

Screenshot of Fox News Twitter video

Tuesday was supposed to be the day the Philadelphia Eagles visited the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory.

Instead, the White House canceled the visit on Monday, and ESPN reported that "five or fewer Eagles players committed to attend."

A White House statement said: "The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow. 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. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the ceremony deserve better."

Fox News reported on the event's cancellation, and some of the photos the network used that purported to show Eagles players protesting actually were of them praying.

None of the Philadelphia players knelt last season. According to Pro Football Talk, Ron Brooks knelt before a preseason game, but he was released in August. Malcolm Jenkins raised a fist during the playing of the anthem early in the season but stopped after the NFL donated money to fight social injustices.

One of the images in the Fox News segment showed Eagles tight end Zach Ertz praying.

On Tuesday, Ertz took issue with Fox News' segment and wrote on Twitter: "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."

Fox News has since deleted the tweet of the video and issued a statement on Twitter from Christopher Wallace, the executive producer of "FOX News at Night with Shannon Bream": "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. 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."