People have been mystified about why they changed their minds about going. Between 70 and 80 players and staff had agreed to come beforehand as late as May 31st. But then by the Friday before the event the White House got word fewer than 10 would be showing up.
Some such as Rush Limbaugh have suggested a conspiracy to show up Trump. And on local sports talk shows they couldn’t get to the bottom of it either.
But it’s an obvious reason and it has nothing to do with conspiracies. The problem was in that same week when the Eagles changed their minds to against going, that was the week the NFL announced their policy change that players could not kneel during the anthem. They would either have to stay in the locker room or be required to stand during the anthem.
It was that that raised the controversy anew. It was that that angered the players, and it was that that made the players decide against going. Keep in mind that prior to that, the players would have been thinking it would have been the status quo where the players could stand or kneel as they wanted. But the policy change, against the players wishes, forcing them to stand during the anthem while on the field changed that.