"My message has been clear all year".
"I'm about creating positive change in the communities that I come from, whether it be Philadelphia, New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana or this entire country", Jenkins told CNN. "I want to see us push for economical and educational advancement in communities of color and low income communities".
They practiced. They protested. "It's pretty special to have a group like that of folks that aren't just socially conscious, but folks who genuinely care about people and care about learning more".
There has always been precedent for athletes skipping championship commemorations at the White House; Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird once passed on a visit with president Ronald Reagan at the White House, saying, "If the president wants to see me, he knows where to find me". It remains unclear whether the Commander-in-Chief plans to extend the invitation following months of player protests and his public feud with the troubled league.
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On Sunday afternoon, he took credit for the fact that no players demonstrated during the anthem at the Super Bowl, telling an audience in OH "there was nobody kneeling at the beginning of the Super Bowl", and later saying: "We've made a lot of improvement, haven't we?" "Are you kidding me?" "I'm just gonna leave it at that", he said then.
The championship-winning team typically visits the White House sometime in the months after the victory.
Trump has repeatedly attacked NFL players for silent acts of dissent whether it is kneeling or raising fists during the national anthem in advocating for criminal justice reform and eradicating social injustice. He even emphasized the importance of standing for the national anthem during his State of the Union speech last week, and issued a statement Sunday afternoon encouraging players not to protest ahead of the Super Bowl. And, based on initial sales reports to Nielsen Music, "Dreams and Nightmares" soared 344 percent in download sales in the USA on Sunday, Feb. 4, the day of the big game, rising to a little more than 2,000 sold.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Chris Long speaks to reporters after the Eagles' Super Bowl triumph.
Last year, Long released a video online explaining his decision: "When my son grows up - and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is - I don't want him to say, 'Hey dad, why'd you go when you knew the right thing was to not go'".