Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

fox segment

Fox News on Monday aired misleading photos in a segment about President Donald Trump's decision to cancel the Philadelphia Eagles' trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. (Photo: Fox News)

'Astonishing Dishonesty': Fox News Uses Photos of Eagles Players Praying to Denigrate #TakeAKnee Protests

"This can't be serious," said one NFL player shown in a photo. "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."

Jessica Corbett

The players were not kneeling in protest. They were kneeling in prayer.

Fox News was widely rebuked for airing misleading photos of Philadelphia Eagles players in a story about President Donald Trump's last-minute move to cancel the Super Bowl champions' visit to the White House and instead host military musicians who will play the National Anthem.

Late Monday, Fox News @ Night aired a segment about Trump's decision—an obvious jab at professional athletes who have recently protested racial injustice by kneeling during the anthem—that included a series of photos showing several Eagles players kneeling, which suggested that they participated in the protests.

However, as activist and journalist Shaun King—a vocal supporter of the #TakeAKnee movement—and several others have pointed out, no Eagles players knelt in protest during last year's regular season. CNN noted that cornerback Ron Brooks took a knee during a preseason game last August, but "was later released by the team, and did not play for the Eagles in the regular season."

Tight end Zach Ertz, one of the Eagles in the photos, responded sharply on Twitter, denouncing the Fox story as "propaganda" and emphasizing that he was kneeling to pray "well before" the anthem was played.

"This is some deeply racist and ill-intentioned garbage," Jared Yates Sexton, a politics writer for Salon, said of the network's decision to use the photos. Charlie Lindlar, an editor at The Huffington Post UK, remarked, "Astonishing dishonesty here, even for Fox News."

Defensive end Chris Long also slammed the network, tweeting, "You're complicit in PLAYING America."

Fox has removed the segment from its Twitter account. The show's executive producer has released a statement acknowledging that "no members of the team knelt in protest during the national anthem throughout regular or post-season last year" and apologizing for "the error."

The controversy comes amid widespread frustration among fans and athletes about a recent decision by the National Football League (NFL) team owners to impose fines on teams if any player takes a knee during the anthem for future seasons. That policy has been denounced as an "un-American" attack on First Amendment rights by a "group of aged billionaires."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Watch: Bernie Sanders Argues 'We Must End the Greed of Big Pharma'

The live address comes as the Senate Budget Committee chair continues to push for including Medicare expansion and drug pricing reforms in the Build Back Better package.

Common Dreams staff ·

Reconciliation Framework 'Not Enough' to Push Through Infrastructure Bill, Progressives Warn

"We need to have a vote ready for the Build Back Better plan, not a framework," insisted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. "We want to have both of these votes together."

Brett Wilkins ·

McDonald's Workers Join 'Striketober' and Walk Out Over Sexual Harassment

One striker participated because "McDonald's still refuses to take responsibility for the countless women and teenagers who face harassment on the job at its stores across the globe."

Jessica Corbett ·

Breaking: FDA Panel Recommends Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine for Kids 5 to 11

With just one abstention, the advisory panel voted 17-0 to approve the vaccine for younger children which scientific review has deemed both safe and effective against the deadly virus.

Common Dreams staff ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo