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Report: President Donald Trump will skip Super Bowl pre-game segment amid NFL controversy

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A report from Variety on Friday alleged that President Donald Trump will not take part in any Super Bowl LII pregame events, breaking a yearslong tradition.

What did Variety say?

Variety reported that a person close to White House-NBC negotiations has said that the Trump administration has indicated the president will not participate in the customary pregame interview leading up to the Super Bowl, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 4.

Trump gave an interview to Fox News prior to 2017's Super Bowl LI, and the year before that, former President Barack Obama sat down for an interview with Bill O'Reilly.

Despite inklings that Trump will not take the network up on their offer, NBC's offer to the president reportedly remains open-ended.

According to Variety, "NBC News declined to make executives available for comment," and noted that a spokesperson for the White House did not immediately respond for comment at the time of posting.

Is there more to the story?

It would seem so. On Friday, Deadline followed up Variety's story with a report of their own, stating that they spoke to someone at NBC who is reportedly close to the situation.

Deadline's Lisa de Moraes wrote that Trump will not sit down with NBC for the presidential pregame interview.

De Moraes echoed Variety's reporting, noting that the offer extended to the president still stands.

Anything else?

Trump has been quite outspoken about his disdain for NFL players who have opted to protest during the national anthem, kneeling during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner," even going as far as to call one of the kneeling players a "son of a b***h."

The president has also been vocal on social media, encouraging players to stand for the playing of the national anthem.

Trump in September tweeted, "Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!"

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