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White House explains decision to cancel Eagles visit

A day after canceling the Philadelphia Eagles' scheduled Super Bowl LII celebration visit, the White House provided further explanation as to why it decided to scrap the visit.

In a statement released by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House said it decided to cancel the event after learning that only a "tiny" number of players planned to attend the celebration. The Eagles tried last week to reschedule it, per Sanders, but the dates offered by the team conflicted with President Trump's schedule.

"The White House, despite sensing a lack of good faith, nonetheless attempted to work with the Eagles over the weekend to change the event format that could accommodate a smaller group of players," the statement said. "Unfortunately, the Eagles offered to send only a tiny handful of representatives, while making clear that the great majority of players would not attend the event, despite planning to be in D.C. today. In other words, the vast majority of the Eagles team decided to abandon their fans."

The White House said the Eagles initially told them that 81 individuals connected to the club -- players, coaches, executives and other team personnel -- would attend the celebration.

Philadelphia safety Malcolm Jenkins, a co-founder of the Players Coalition, reminded his followers on Twitter that no one on the Eagles kneeled or sat during the national anthem before games. He also explained, in part, some of the motivation for why he planned on not attending the celebration even before it was canceled.

"It's hard to meet with people who don't agree with you and to have tough conversations about uncomfortable race-related issues and how to make positive change," Jenkins wrote. "It takes courage to stand up for the TRUTH even if it's not a popular one."

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