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Fox News apologizes for showing Eagles players kneeling in prayer during report on anthem controversy

Fox News has apologized after using images of Philadelphia Eagles players kneeling in prayer during a report that discussed President Trump canceling the team’s White House visit over the NFL’s national anthem controversy.

"During our report about President Trump canceling the Philadelphia Eagles trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win, we showed unrelated footage of players kneeling in prayer," Christopher Wallace, the executive producer of “Fox News @ Night,” said in a statement Tuesday morning.

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"To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or postseason last year. We apologize for the error."

A day earlier, Trump called off the Eagles’ planned visit for Tuesday, saying in a statement that several members of the Super Bowl championship team “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.”

No Eagles players knelt during the anthem last season.

But in a report on the canceled White House visit, the network showed three images of Eagles players kneeling on the field, not the sideline.

Fox News shows an image of then- Eagles teammates Zach Erst and Corey Clement praying on the field.
Fox News shows an image of then- Eagles teammates Zach Erst and Corey Clement praying on the field. (screenshot from Twitter)
Fox News shows an image of Eagles' Zach Erst praying on the field.
Fox News shows an image of Eagles' Zach Erst praying on the field. (screenshot from Twitter)
Fox News shows an image of Jordan Matthews (81) kneeling in prayer with then-Eagles teammates. Matthews played for the Buffalo Bills in 2017.
Fox News shows an image of Jordan Matthews (81) kneeling in prayer with then-Eagles teammates. Matthews played for the Buffalo Bills in 2017. (screenshot from Twitter)

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who is featured in at least two of the images, tweeted that they show him and teammates praying before games “well before the anthem.”

One of the images could not have been from 2017. It features Jordan Matthews, a former Eagle who played for the Buffalo Bills last season.

In his tweet, Ertz called the report “propaganda.”

“Just sad,” he tweeted, “I feel like you guys should have to be better than this.”

The only other image shown during the report features three Eagles players standing for the anthem — Chris Long with his hand over his heart and Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod with a fist in the air.

Long also took to Twitter to slam the Fox News report.

“Imagine wanting to please the boss so very badly that you run stills of guys knelt down PRAYING during pregame,” Long tweeted. “Not one Eagles player knelt for the anthem this yr. Keep carrying his water to sow division while misrepresenting Christian men.”

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