White House Accuses Eagles of Bait-and-Switch
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles have been accused of playing a bait-and-switch game by the White House in the aftermath of a controversial decision by President Donald Trump to cancel a visit by the team originally scheduled for Tuesday.
The Trump White House says that on Thursday of last week the Eagles submitted the names of 81 individuals, including players, coaches, management and support staff, who would attend the event and were cleared for participation by the Secret Service, before asking to reschedule late on Friday afternoon.
After wrangling over other dates where the POTUS wasn't going to be available the White House alleges that the Eagles requested to change the event into a more intimate gathering.
That gathering would have included less than five players, team owner Jeffrey Lurie, head coach Doug Pederson and the team's mascot Swoop, an NFL source tells 973espn.com.
"Late Friday, citing the fact that many players would not be in attendance, the team contacted the White House again, and attempted to reschedule the event." the White House explained in a statement. "The President, however, had already announced that he would be traveling overseas on the dates the Eagles proposed.
"The White House, despite lacking a sense of good faith, nonetheless attempted to work with the Eagles over the weekend to change the event format that could accommodate a smaller group of players. Unfortunately, the Eagles offered to send only a tiny handful of representatives, while making clear that the great majority of players would not attend the event, despite planning to be in D.C. today.
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"In other words, the vast majority of the Eagles team decided to abandon their fans."
The Eagles did plan to visit D.C. as a team with most of the players appearing at other community events around the city.
A White House source called the plan a bait and switch and an attempt to publicly humiliate the WH and the President when contacted by Politico.
"Upon learning these facts, the President decided to change the event so that it would be a celebration of the American flag with the Eagles fans and performances by United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus." the statement read.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Want more NFL? Check out John's piece on why 'The Cleanse' in Cleveland was about more than losing at GetMoreSports.com