President Trump attended the 120th Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Saturday and met with the players from each team ahead of the game.
While meeting with West Point’s Black Knights, Trump was presented with a “45” jersey.
Trump was accompanied by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who also spoke to the players.
Esper also credited Trump for directing a policy change implemented in November that now allows military academy players to delay their military service and immediately pursue a professional sports career upon completing the academy.
“What we’re doing now, is you’ll go out and you’ll make a fortune, and after you’re all finished with your professional career, you’ll go and you’ll serve. Everybody’s thrilled. That means you can go out and you can do whatever you want,” Trump said.
“It probably gives the coach no reason to ever lose another game,” he joked.
Video also shows Trump shaking hands with and giving a pep talk to the U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen ahead of the game.
The Midshipmen also presented Trump with a “45” jersey, to which he joked, “can I play today?”
Trump commended the Midshipmen’s “great season” and encouraged them to “go out there and play hard.” He also told the players that military teams playing in representation of the country was a “big positive.”