WASHINGTON (ABC7) — The national anthem and other "other wonderful music" celebrating the United States, as President Trump referred to it, was played at the White House Tuesday after he canceled the visit for the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that the performances will feature the U.S. Marine Band and Army Chorus and are meant to honor America in another response to the NFL's new policy allowing players to stay in the locker room for the playing of the anthem.
"NFL, no escaping to Locker Rooms!" Trump said in a tweet.
The performance replaces the annual visit by the Super Bowl-winning team that Trump canceled on Monday. Multiple members of that Eagle team, like defensive end Chris Long and wide receiver Torrey Smith, have been critical of Trump and said they would not be participating in the team's visit to the White House. In another Tuesday morning tweet, Trump recognized previous championship-winning teams that came to the White House during his presidency.
Trump says that because "only a small number of players decided to come" he canceled the Eagles' visit.
"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 White House said in a statement.
Smith, a Virginia native who played for the University of Maryland, called the move a "cowardly act" and said that Trump is spreading a "false narrative" that all NFL players who kneeled during the anthem are anti-military.
Smith, who was traded to the Carolina Panthers during the offseason and is himself the son of a U.S. Army veteran, also says that no members of the Super Bowl team kneeled during the 2017 season.