Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and defensive lineman Chris Long took FOX News to task after the network showed footage of the team’s players praying before a game.
FOX News ran the misleading footage during a segment in which anchor Shannon Bream discussed President Donald Trump’s aversion to players kneeling during the national anthem. FOX News has since apologized for what it described as an “error.”
In a statement, Trump said the decision was made because the club “wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserved better.”
FOX News ran footage of the team praying before a game as opposed to kneeling for the national anthem, with some photos depicting players who were not on the team in 2017. The Eagles did not have any players kneel during the national anthem last season.
Ertz took issue with the footage by venting his displeasure over social media.
“This can’t be serious,” the 27-year-old Ertz wrote on Twitter. “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…”
Long, who previously voiced that he wasn’t going to attend the celebration at the White House, chimed in approximately an hour later.
“Imagine wanting to please the boss so very badly that you run stills of guys knelt down PRAYING during pregame,” the 33-year-old Long wrote on Twitter. “Not one Eagles player knelt for the anthem this yr. Keep carrying his water to sow division while misrepresenting Christian men. Aren’t many of your viewers.. nevermind.
“You’re complicit in PLAYING America. This is just another day at the office for you, though. Most players (and there were many players, many players…) that wanted to opt out had decided long b4 the anthem rule came down. It wasn’t discussed once in our meetings about the visit.”
Christopher Wallace, the executive producer of Fox News @ Night, released the following apology:
“During our report about President Trump canceling the Philadelphia Eagles trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win, we showed unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer,” Wallace said in the statement. “To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or post-season last year. We apologize for the error.”