Protestors kneel during national anthem at Trump White House celebration that snubbed Philadelphia Eagles

Key Points
  • At least two men knelt on the White House lawn during the playing of the national anthem during a celebration of "America" there.
  • The event came after President Donald Trump disinvited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House.
  • A man in the crowd who was one of the people who kneeled heckled the president, telling him "Stop hiding behind the armed services and the national anthem!"
President Donald Trump holds his hand over his heart and sings the U.S. National Anthem along with members of the U.S. military at the "celebration of America" event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, June 5, 2018.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

At least two people knelt on the White House lawn during the playing of the national anthem at a celebration Tuesday arranged by President Donald Trump, echoing protests by NFL players this past football season.

Trump, who had scheduled that event after disinviting the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House because of an ongoing controversy over the Anthem, also was heckled by one of the people in the crowd who had kneeled.

Source: SVT

"Stop hiding behind the armed services and the national anthem," shouted the man, who was standing about 15 yards from the president.

"Let's hear it for the Eagles!"


A man who was seen kneeling on the lawn in video shot by Swedish news outlet SVT was not interested in discussing his action, a reporter for the station told CNBC. The man left by himself after the playing of the anthem, and before Trump spoke at the event.

On top of all of that, video showed Trump stumbling through the singing of "God Bless America" at the event. At times, Trump stopped singing along with the crowd, or appeared to be singing words other than the actual lyrics.

The Eagles, who beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in February, had been invited to the White House for an event Tuesday to celebrate that victory.

But the White House has said that it learned that most of the team planned to skip the event.

A number of Eagles had said they would not attend because Trump has criticized NFL players who chose to kneel during the playing of the national anthem before football games. None of the Eagles had kneeled during the season or post-season.

Last month, the National Football League said that starting next season it will require players to "stand and show respect for the flag" during the playing of the national anthem or wait in their locker rooms until the song finishes being played.

Trump on Monday night uninvited the Eagles to the White House, saying in a prepared statement the team was "unable to come" because "they disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country."


At the same time, he announced that another event would be held Tuesday at the White House that would celebrate the United States, and feature patriotic songs.


Eagles wide receiver quickly tweeted Monday that the president was lying.


And Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney said that Trump's disinviting of the Eagles "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."

WATCH: Trump holds 'Celebration of America' event at White House

Trump holds 'Celebration of America' event at the White House
Trump holds 'Celebration of America' event at the White House