On Tuesday, Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz criticized Fox News for using pictures of him and his teammates praying before the national anthem to illustrate a segment about Trump’s criticism of anthem protests. It turns out, they were kneeling for pre-game prayer.
See below for the since-deleted tweet from Fox News.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 5, 2018
Ertz replied with:
This can’t be serious…. Praying before games with my teammates, well before the anthem, is being used for your propaganda?! Just sad, I feel like you guys should have to be better than this… https://t.co/kYeyH2zXdK
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) June 5, 2018
Later on Tuesday, and after receiving a storm of criticism over the network’s use of photos of various players for the Philadelphia Eagles kneeling in prayer, creating a false impression that they were demonstrating during the national anthem, Fox News apologized. Fox News also deleted the tweet as well as the video segment which used the same imagery to convey the same message.
A Fox News executive producer, Christopher Wallace, said in a statement:
“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. To clarify, no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or post-season last year,” he added. We apologize for the error.”
That’s awfully convenient. Of all the teams to accidentally rake over the coals of the Take A Knee controversy, imagine choosing the Philadelphia Eagles! Actually, since the story was about that very method of protest, the motives are pretty clear.
Spoiler alert: Fox News is, collectively, not a fan of the silent national anthem protests now prohibited by the NFL, which dovetails perfectly with Donald Trump’s position.
Of course it does.