Trump, White House celebrate without the Eagles; Philly fans hold rally
Addressing a crowd — some of which knew little about the Eagles — Trump talked about standing during the national anthem.
President Trump brought in a military band and chorus for a performance of the national anthem in lieu of an event celebrating the Super Bowl champion Eagles at the White House on Tuesday afternoon.
The White House had blamed the team for the cancellation and accused players of choosing to "abandon" their fans through a "political stunt." Only a handful of Eagles players had been expected to attend the White House event. The disinvitation turned the victory that thrilled Philadelphia fans, sending scores into the streets to celebrate the Super Bowl victory, into a national and political flashpoint.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Eagles fans gathered at City Hall to cheer for the team, in the absence of a White House ceremony. Here are highlights from the two events.
White House ‘celebration of America’
Trump spoke briefly at the 3 p.m. replacement event, in which he talked about why he believes it's important to stand for the national anthem and made a comment about the crowd's size (Mayor Kenney had earlier taken a shot at Trump's fixation on crowds, calling the president "a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend").
"We stand together for freedom, we stand together for patriotism, and we proudly stand for our glorious nation under god," Trump said. "I want to thank you all for being here. This is a beautiful, big celebration. Actually, to be honest, it's even bigger than we had anticipated."
Some of the attendees didn't know much about the Eagles.
Some Eagles fans did attend.
One attendee took a knee during the national anthem.
Another yelled at Trump to "stop hiding behind the armed services and the national anthem."
A few hours later, in Philadelphia, about 30 Eagles fans gathered outside City Hall to rally for the team and protest Trump's decision.