Philadelphia Mayor on National Anthem: "I'm A Privileged White Male And I Have A Reason To Stand"

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Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney defended the decision of Philadelphia Eagles players to not attend a celebration event at the White House that was eventually canceled by President Trump. Kenney said he stands for the anthem, but it is okay since he is a "privileged white male" that has a "reason" to stand. In an appearance on CNN Monday night, the mayor said others have not received the "same level of fairness" that he has and have a right to show their displeasure.

"If he wanted to be patriotic, he could have been patriotic back then as opposed to this sham of an issue relative to the national anthem," Kenney told CNN's Don Lemon. "I stand for the national anthem and cover my heart, because I'm a privileged white male and I have a reason to stand. There are other people in this country who have not experienced the same level of fairness and same level of issues that I have. And they have a right to show their displeasure. And that is what the first amendment is all about. And if he doesn't want to accept the first amendment or other amendments, that is on him."

DON LEMON, CNN: Joining me now on the phone is the mayor of Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney.



Mayor, thank you so much for joining us.

JIM KENNEY, MAYOR, PHILADELPHIA: My pleasure Don, how are you doing?

LEMON: I am doing OK, listen, the President just tweeted this, he said, the Philadelphia Eagles football team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately only a small number of players decided to come and we cancel the event. Staying in the locker room for the playing of our national anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling, sorry.

So here's the thing. None of the Philadelphia Eagles players stayed in the locker room. None of them took a knee for the season. So what he is talking about, that is, in fact, a lie as well.

KENNEY: Well, there's no one more disrespectful to this country than the President of the United States, which is a sad thing to say, but it's true.

LEMON: You say that -- and it's tough to say that. Before what you said about, you said it's embarrassing, he didn't want to be embarrassed. Don't you think it's tough to say the words that you just said, but you have to because they're true? It's true?

KENNEY: Well, first of all, I'm glad he disinvited us. Or disinvited the team, because we won't have any lingering issues coming into next season. So I think it's very important. Didn't want some players to show up and others not to. And have it enter into the locker room and, you know, keep us back from repeating a Super Bowl champion. So, I don't really care what he does.

That guy talks about being patriotic. He avoid the draft five times. In Vietnam. And Philadelphia has -- it's a City that has two high schools. One is Thomas Edison High School who lost 64 members of their class in Vietnam and the other is Father Judd High School that lost 27 members of their class in Vietnam.

If he wanted to be patriotic, he could have been patriotic back then as opposed to this sham of an issue relative to the national anthem. I stand for the national anthem and cover my heart, because I'm a privileged white male and I have a reason to stand. There are other people in this country who have not experienced the same level of fairness and same level of issues that I have. And they have a right to show their displeasure. And that is what the first amendment is all about. And if he doesn't want to accept the first amendment or other amendments, that is on him.

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