Fox News apologizes after NFL player blasts anthem ‘propaganda’

Players from the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars kneel for prayer at the 50-yard line after the Eagles defeated the Jaguars 34-17 during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 7, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Caption
Players from the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars kneel for prayer at the 50-yard line after the Eagles defeated the Jaguars 34-17 during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 7, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Credit: Rich Schultz

Credit: Rich Schultz

Fox News apologized Tuesday after heavy criticism following a segment about protests during the national anthem which instead aired footage of Philadelphia Eagles' players kneeling in prayer.

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According to USA Today, the Fox News segment in question, which has since been deleted on social media, aired less than 12 hours after President Donald Trump announced that he was rescinding the Eagles' invitation to the White House. The president cited the team's desire to send "a smaller delegation" to the ceremony and framing it in the context of protests during the national anthem, which the president has made a major issue.

>> Related: Players react to Trump calling off White House visit 

The depiction of praying players in the context of national-anthem protests caught the attention of Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who took to social media to blast the Fox News segment as "propaganda."

The executive producer of Fox News @ Night, Christopher Wallace, apologized in a statement to USA TODAY Sports.

"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," Wallace said.

>> Related: White House: Eagles ‘abandoned their fans’

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

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