Eagles Players Planning National Anthem Demonstration, Says Malcolm Jenkins
A number of NFL players from different teams have joined Colin Kaepernick in making demonstrations during the national anthem since the 49ers quarterback sat down while the song was being played prior to a 49ers preseason game. To this point, no members of the Eagles have joined Kaepernick in protest. That just might change this week, however, as the Birds prepare to play against the Bears on Monday Night Football.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins “definitely” anticipates there being a demonstration of some kind that will “most likely” feature him and potentially some other teammates as well.
“There’s been discussion league wide,” Jenkins told Glen Macnow and Jody McDonald on SportsRadio 94WIP. “So it’s not even just an isolated thing where it’s team to team anymore. There’s been league wide discussion about this topic. There’s a lot of guys that want to speak out and want to be a part of the movement but just aren’t sure which way they want to go about doing that. I think you’ve seen guys over the last couple of weeks join in in various ways. Whether it just be through their statements or pre-game stuff. Everybody wants to be a part of it. I feel like it’s no different on our team. We’ve got guys, especially myself, who feel very strongly about the topic.
“Last week, we talked about doing some stuff, but we wanted to make sure that we didn’t do anything to take away from the folks, the families that suffer from 9/11. We didn’t want to mess with that day, so we left last week alone. Moving forward, I’m sure that there will be guys that will probably join in.”
Jenkins said he’s talked to Doug Pederson about the upcoming demonstration. He said the Eagles coach is “OK with it.” Jenkins also explained the motivation behind the plan.
“For me, it has nothing to do with this country or the flag or the anthem in and of itself,” said Jenkins.” Really it’s just to continue to push forward the conversation about social injustice. And that’s not just — that’s a range of things from police brutality to wages and job opportunities, education … There’s just a lot of things systematically that have been set up since this country’s inception that really put minorities, especially African Americans, at a disadvantage when you talk about quality of life, and actually growing in this country.”
“And so we want to continue to keep that conversation going and push it to as many people as we can, obviously, while also doing our part and bringing forth change. I think, obviously, this has been a hot topic. And the more players that can join in, the further this conversation goes. And I think after the initial shock of what Kaepernick did, and once everybody started to listen to what his message was, it’s become a really good conversation that’s going along nation wide. I think every player has an opinion and they definitely want to share and use their stage to do better. ”
In August, Jenkins spoke out in support of Kaepernick’s protest, but he said he didn’t agree with the quarterback’s specific course of action. The veteran safety said the Eagles’ plan hasn’t been finalized yet, but it doesn’t sound like they’ll be joining Kaepernick in kneeling.
“I’m not sure,” said Jenkins when asked about the specifics of the demonstration.” I still want to talk to some of my teammates. There’s been conversations that we’ve had. ‘What do we want to do? [Do] we want to do something as a team? Or as individuals?’ And I still think that’s still being discussed. But I doubt that we’ll have anybody kneeling.”
Eagles-Bears kickoff is set for 8:30 PM ET on Monday, Sept. 19. The game will air on ESPN.