The players were not kneeling in protest. They were kneeling in prayer.
Fox News was widely rebuked for airing misleading photos of Philadelphia Eagles players in a story about President Donald Trump’s last-minute move to cancel the Super Bowl champions’ visit to the White House and instead host military musicians who will play the National Anthem.
Late Monday, Fox News @ Night aired a segment about Trump’s decision—an obvious jab at professional athletes who have recently protested racial injustice by kneeling during the anthem—that included a series of photos showing several Eagles players kneeling, which suggested that they participated in the protests.
However, as activist and journalist Shaun King—a vocal supporter of the #TakeAKnee movement—and several others have pointed out, no Eagles players knelt in protest during last year’s regular season. CNN noted that cornerback Ron Brooks took a knee during a preseason game last August, but “was later released by the team, and did not play for the Eagles in the regular season.”
Tight end Zach Ertz, one of the Eagles in the photos, responded sharply on Twitter, denouncing the Fox story as “propaganda” and emphasizing that he was kneeling to pray “well before” the anthem was played.
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