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Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney shot back at President Donald Trump late Monday after a Tuesday White House invitation for the Philadelphia Eagles was rescinded by the president.
“The Eagles call the birthplace of our democracy home, so it's no surprise that this team embodies everything that makes our country and our city great,” Kenney said in a statement. "Their athletic accomplishments on the field led to an historic victory this year.
“I'm equally proud of the Eagles' activism off the field,” he added. “These are players who stand up for the causes they believe in and who contribute in meaningful ways to their community.”
Kenney lauded the Eagles, and their decision to speak out on certain social and political issues, as being representative of the “diversity of our nation.” While no Eagles players took a knee during the playing of the national anthem during the 2017 NFL season, a number of the players openly supported those who did.
While Kenney's statement focused on praising the team, its fans, and its accomplishments, he didn't mince words when it came to addressing Trump's decision to cancel the team's scheduled White House celebration.
“Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our president is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend,” he said, noting that Philadelphia's City Hall would always be open to the team.
Kenney's point on crowd size, a subtle jab at the disputed attendance numbers for Trump's 2017 inauguration, was underscored by a tweet from his chief of staff.
“Our party was bigger than yours,” Jane Slusser tweeted, with side-by-side pictures of the festivities at Trump's inaugural and Philadelphia's Super Bowl win.
— Jane Slusser (@janeslusser) June 5, 2018
In lieu of the previously scheduled festivities for the Eagles, the Trump White House has opted to instead host a ceremony to “honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the national anthem.”