Stifling a planned demonstration, the Secret Service discouraged the co-ed Columbia University fencing team from handing a letter to President Donald Trump during the team's visit to the White House, according to The Washington Post.
"Secret Service made it pretty clear that something could happen, and I don't want to find out what that is," co-captains Nolen Scruggs told the Post.
The letter addressed gender equity concerns and was given to a White House aide who told co-captains Scruggs and Elise Gout it would be delivered to the president, according to the report.
"The team was cordial, and nothing was handed to the president," White House spokesman Judd Deere told the Post. "White House staff also spoke with members of the team and the coach and extended an invitation for them to come back to the White House to discuss any policy concerns they have."
The letter, calling out the administration's "continued acts of gender-based prejudice and partisanship," was planned to be held up during a group photo with the president, but instead the team wore a large white lapel pin, intended to signify gender equality, according to the Post.
"The goal might not necessarily even be to communicate with the president but to communicate with the American people and get them to jump-start a conversation that might not already be happening," Scruggs told the Post after leaving the White House. "There's physical evidence that we did this, and just that alone is important."
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