By: Stephen Pimpo Jr./ WJLA Staff
WASHINGTON (WJLA) — President Donald Trump says that the national anthem and other "other wonderful music" celebrating the United States will be 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.
We will proudly be playing the National Anthem and other wonderful music celebrating our Country today at 3 P.M., The White House, with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus. Honoring America! NFL, no escaping to Locker Rooms!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
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.
We have had many Championship teams recently at the White House including the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Penguins, New England Patriots, Alabama and Clemson National Champions, and many others. National Anthem & more great music today at 3:00 P.M.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
Trump says that because "only a small number of players decided to come" he canceled the Eagle's 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.
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
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.
There are a lot of people on the team that have plenty of different views. The men and women that wanted to go should’ve been able to go. It’s a cowardly act to cancel the celebration because the majority of the people don’t want to see you. To make it about the anthem is foolish— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) June 4, 2018
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.