During a segment Monday night about President Trump canceling the Philadelphia Eagles' appearance at the White House that had been planned for Tuesday, Fox News showed images of the football team's players kneeling in the background of Shannon Bream's narration. Bream noted that Trump said the cancellation was due to the ongoing "national anthem controversy" rocking the league. Just one issue: In the photos shown, the players weren't kneeling to protest during the national anthem; rather, the photos were taken while players kneeled to pray. "This can’t be serious.... 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...," Eagles tight end Zach Ertz tweeted, per the Hollywood Reporter. Fox has now apologized for using the "unrelated" photos, the AP reports.
"To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout the regular or postseason last year," said the executive producer of the program that aired the report. "We apologize for the error." But Eagles defensive end Chris Long hit back, tweeting, "Fox News used the faith of Christian men dishonestly to push an agenda. That wasn’t an 'error,' but intentional and strategic. They’ve deleted the segment + apologized on twitter, but many viewers don’t have twitter. An on air apology to all Christians would be the classy move." (Fox News did ultimately apologize on-air.) The Eagles were supposed to be at the White House for a ceremony honoring them as the latest Super Bowl champions, but Trump canceled it when it became clear not many players planned to attend. Instead, he hosted a "patriotism" event on the South Lawn, during which he said it's time to "explain why young Americans stand for our national anthem," the AP reports. (Read more Philadelphia Eagles stories.)