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Eagles player on skipping WH Super Bowl visit: ‘I’m not interested in photo ops’

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Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins on Saturday explained his decision not to visit the White House with the Super Bowl-winning team, saying that he has no interest in being part of a photo op.

“At this point in time, I’m not interested in photo ops,” Jenkins said on CNN. “I’m very interested in doing the work on criminal justice reform. I’m very interested in meeting with members of both parties – doesn’t matter to me.”

“This is just not one of those opportunities,” he continued. “This is a celebratory event, where we come, the president comes in, shakes a couple hands, takes a picture and leaves. And I’m just not interested in that.”

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Asked by CNN’s Van Jones how he deals with criticisms over his decision to skip the visit with President Trump, Jenkins said that people were entitled to their opinions, but that he simply did not want to be a part of such an event.

“When it comes to this presidency, I’m just – I’m not very excited about getting my picture taken with him,” he said.

Jenkins is among a group of Eagles players that have said that they plan to forego the traditional White House visit for Super Bowl winners.

The Eagles defeated the New England Patriots on Sunday to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. 

Trump has had a particularly fraught relationship with the NFL. He ignited a feud with the league in September after he said that NFL team owners should fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem at football games.

He later called on the league to implement a rule requiring players to stand for the “Star-Spangled Banner.” He has said that kneeling for the anthem is a sign of disrespect for the American flag and the military. 

Tags Donald Trump NFL Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl

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