Former Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith — who caught five passes in the Super Bowl — said Trump’s statement included “so many lies.”
“Not many people were going to go,” Smith wrote.
But, he tweeted,“No one refused to go simply because Trump “insists” folks stand for the anthem.”
Smith — who says his dad served more than 20 years in the Army — added: “The President continues to spread the false narrative that players are anti military.”
“There are a lot of people on the team that have plenty of different views,” Smith wrote.
“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.”
Eagles officials had left it to players to decide whether to attend. Quarterback Carlson Wentz said he’d go if most of the team also planned to go, philly.com said.
The team responded to Trump’s diss with an anodyne statement.
“We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season,” the statement said.
Trump implied in his statement that he was standing up for 1,000 Eagles fans who planned to attend the White House event. They “deserve better,” he said.
Even though the guests of honor were disinvited, Trump promised Eagles boosters a halftime-style patriotic show that includes music by the U.S. Marine Band and the U.S. Army Chorus.
A Democratic Pennsylvania congressman said by disinviting the team, Trump fumbled “a time-honored tradition” that is not political.
“Hey @realDonaldTrump it’s one thing to be wrong on policy, but to take on my @Eagles is a whole new level,” Boyle tweeted.