President Trump’s decision to disinvite the Eagles from the White House for a post-Super Bowl visit made its way to late night TV on Tuesday, and it looks like Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah have the Birds’ backs.
Colbert opened the Late Show on Tuesday with a monologue focusing on the feud, and noted that no Eagles players participated in national anthem protests during the most recent NFL season. Trump had tweeted on Monday that kneeling or staying in the locker room during the anthem is “disrespectful to our country.”
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
“Here’s the thing: No Eagles players took a knee or stayed in the locker room during the anthem last season,” Colbert said. “So, Donald Trump is blaming a group of black guys for something they didn’t do. They’ll have to rename the Eagles the ‘Central Park 53.’ ”
The joke plays on the Central Park Five, a group of black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park in New York City in 1989.
Colbert also focused on Fox News’ decision to run a photo of Eagles tight end Zach Ertz kneeling on the field in prayer during a segment about Trump’s decision.
“Eagles tight end Zach Ertz pointed out on Twitter that was actually footage of him ‘praying before games with his teammates, well before the anthem.’ Come on, look. It’s an honest mistake: Fox News also thought this picture was Jesus calling a touchdown.”
Fox has since apologized for the error, writing in a statement that they mistakenly “showed unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer” as part of the segment.
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… https://t.co/kYeyH2zXdK
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) June 5, 2018
On Comedy Central, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah mocked Trump’s cancellation of the visit, which the president said this week was due to “a small number of players” deciding to make the trip.
“That’s weird. Trump is canceling events if a lot of people aren’t showing up? That must be a new policy,” Noah said, referencing Trump’s inauguration crowd size scandal from the start of his presidency.
Noah added that the Eagles not wanting to visit the White House is not unusual, considering sports teams’ track record since Trump came into office.
“Can we just acknowledge how weird it is that under Trump, no one wants to visit the White House anymore?” Noah said. “The Golden State Warriors wouldn’t go last year. The Eagles won’t go this year. In fact, the Cleveland Browns released a statement saying the only reason they’ve never won the Super Bowl is because they don’t want to meet Trump. Yeah, apparently they’re not losing. They’re resisting.”
The Eagles were scheduled to visit the White House on Tuesday, but Trump canceled the visit on Monday in an announcement on Twitter. Instead, the White House carried out a “Celebration of America” in a ceremony that included a Marine Corps band.
“We love our country. We respect our flag. We always proudly stand for the national anthem,” Trump said at the event, the Washington Post reports.