Two men take knee during national anthem at Trump's White House ceremony

MINNEAPOLIS MN- FEBRUARY 04 Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after his teams 41-33 win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium

MINNEAPOLIS MN- FEBRUARY 04 Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after his teams 41-33 win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium

After Donald Trump rescinded his White House invitation to the Super Bowl champion team Philadelphia Eagles on June 4 - a day before the planned event -he invited the fans back for a second event.

"Our union is disappointed in the decision by the White House to disinvite players from the Philadelphia Eagles from being recognised and celebrated by all Americans", the NFL Players Association said in a statement.

The NFL Network initially reported the Eagles planned to send a small contingent of players and officials for the celebration, since numerous players did not wish to go.

The first lady attended a White House event on Monday, her first public appearance since treatment last month for a "benign kidney condition".

On Tuesday, the first lady strolled into a White House event Monday for military families and swept away the wild speculation that she was incapacitated or had otherwise vanished.

The players went home for the weekend unsure, and the coaching staff told them to keep their cellphones close by for an incoming text message about the team's final decision about the White House.

Mr Trump, furious about the low number of Eagles players who were coming, scrapped Tuesday's visit, believing a low turnout would reflect poorly upon him.

Torrey Smith, who played as a wide receiver for the Eagles in the Super Bowl but has since been traded, responded on Twitter to Trump, saying that there were "so many lies".

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Trump claimed the cancelation was related to players protesting his stance on kneeling during the national anthem.

Several members of the championship Eagles squad, including safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive end Chris Long and wide receiver Torrey Smith - now with the Carolina Panthers - have been vocal about their plans not to attend any White House visit due to their opposition of Trump and his policies.

But the Eagles said only a "tiny handful" of representatives would show up and that the great majority of players would not attend, Sanders said.

"What makes this country great is that we have the choice to stand or not to stand during the national anthem".

Mr. Trump's tool of football patriotism has become politically potent as it accelerated the decline in NFL viewership last season.

Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, started the protest in 2016 that soon spread to other teams.

Some NFL players have chosen to kneel during the national anthem the last two seasons to protest social injustice.

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