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Eagles coach wanted White House visit

Eagles coach Doug Pederson says he was looking forward to going to the White House to be recognized as Super Bowl champions but he wouldn't further discuss a visit that was canceled by President Donald Trump.

Breaking his silence in a news conference at the Eagles' training facility in Philadelphia, Pederson mostly declined to handle the hot-potato subject of the last-minute snub the commander in chief issued Monday, a day before the team was to be honored at the White House.

"This is going to be a blanket statement and then I'm not going to discuss it further," Pederson, 50, said before taking more than a half-dozen questions, mostly about the rebuff from Trump.

"I was looking forward to going down, obviously," said Pederson, who led the Eagles to a 41-33 Super Bowl upset over the New England Patriots in February and brought the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia for the first time in the team's 84-year history.

"You know, we did something last season that was very special. It's a milestone here in the city of Philadelphia, our organization. And I was looking forward to going down and being recognized as world champions and, you know, it is what it is."

In an unusual move, Trump personally issued a statement, apparently after hearing that many Eagles' team members planned to boycott the White House after the president made such a fuss about NFL players’ protesting police brutality and racism by taking a knee for the national anthem.

The NFL enacted a widely panned new rule last month requiring players on the football field to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” or stay in the locker room until after its performed.

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