WASHINGTON — Instead of welcoming the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House on Tuesday, President Trump held an event to “celebrate America” and play the national anthem.
And, according to a video and photos posted to social media, at least two of the attendees at that celebration decided to take a knee.
A television reporter for SVT, Sweden’s national public television broadcaster, posted a video of the event Tuesday in which a man in a light-blue shirt is kneeling as the United States Marine Band plays The Star-Spangled Banner. The man, who could not immediately be identified by USA TODAY Sports, applauds and stands as the song ends.
Jesper Zølck of TV 2 Denmark reported that the man left shortly after kneeling and did not give his name nor say anything.
A CNN reporter later posted a picture of a second man and reported that he kneeled during the anthem before yelling at Trump, which drew boos from other attendees nearby. The second man also could not be immediately identified.
The playing of the national anthem was followed by brief remarks from Trump, who spoke for about three minutes about the importance of standing for the national anthem. Trump did not mention the Eagles or the NFL in his remarks, but he said the event was “even bigger than we had anticipated.”
The crowd at Tuesday’s event was largely clad in suits and professional attire, though a few fans were seen wearing Eagles gear.
Earlier Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blamed the Eagles for the last-minute change and referred to it as “a political stunt” by the organization.
Contact Tom Schad at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.