US President Donald Trump (photo credit: AFP)

US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles’ visit to the White House has been canceled due to the controversy over standing for the National Anthem at NFL games.

Trump has repeatedly criticized players for not standing for the anthem and has gone as far as to say team owners should fire players for doing so.

“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow.

“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. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better,” Trump said in a statement.

The movement was initially started by Colin Kaepernick, who was formerly with the San Francisco 49ers. He drew national attention for refusing to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to kickoff.

Last month, the NFL announced it would require athletes to stand during the National Anthem in response to players who took a knee as protest to what some players see as the systemic oppression of people of color, including by police.