Malcolm Jenkins: Eagles waited until after 9/11 for anthem protest
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins says he expects some members of his team to express their feelings on social injustice during the national anthem on “Monday Night Football.” Jenkins also says the team’s players saved any actions of dissent until after Week 1 because of a respect for the tragedy of 9/11.
“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 families that suffered from 9/11,” Jenkins said during an interview Friday on WIP in Philadelphia. “We didn’t want to mess with that day, so we left last week alone. But moving forward, I’m sure there will be guys that will probably join in.”
Jenkins said he most likely will be one of the players to join in with some display, though he doubts any Eagles players will kneel during the anthem prior to the game against the Chicago Bears.
What’s Jenkins’ reason for showing some sort of protest? He says he wants to keep the conversation about social injustice alive.
“For me, it has nothing to do with this country or the flag or the anthem in itself,” he said. “Really it’s just to continue to push forward the conversation about social injustice, and 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 in this country since its inception that put minorities, especially African Americans, at a disadvantage when you talk about quality of life and actually growing in this country.
“So we want to continue to keep that conversation going and push it to as many people as we can obviously while doing our part in bringing forth change. Obviously this has been a hot topic, and the more players that join in, the further this conversation goes.”
When soccer player Megan Rapinoe kneeled for the anthem, she cited the exact same reason of wanting to keep the conversation going.
Though Colin Kaepernick was — and still is — ostracized for starting the movement, many other athletes across the league and other sports have since joined in. Continuing to do it is not easy for some, as there is a lot of backlash to face. Even a few Miami Dolphins who protested last week say they will not do it again.