Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins will move forward with his protest during the national anthem.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins says he will continue to raise his first during the national anthem this NFL season. Jenkins also raised his fist during the anthem prior to Thursday night’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
Jenkins, who has called NFL owners “cowards” for refusing to sign free-agent former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, said in a statement that he plans to continue the demonstration he started during the 2016 season. Jenkins raised his right fist in all but one game last season — the Eagles opener on Sept. 11 — in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick kneeled during the anthem to draw attention to racial inequality in the United States.
“Last season, I raised my fist as a sign of solidarity to support people, especially people of color, who were and are still unjustly losing their lives at the hands of officers with little to no consequence. After spending time with police officers on ride-alongs, meeting with politicians on the state and federal level and grass roots organizations fighting for human rights, it’s clear that our criminal justice system is still crippling communities of color through mass incarceration,” Jenkins said in a statement. “With the new call for a war on crime and drugs, the disproportionate oppression of poor communities and communities of color will continue unless legislative efforts and community engagement are made a priority. I’ve seen signs of life with regards to bipartisan support for criminal justice reform, but the support does not reflect the necessary urgency for real reform. This must be made a priority.
“As the blowback against those who stand up for what is right thickens, I feel it is necessary to push forward with a relentless determination. I want to send a message that we will not easily be moved or deterred from fighting for justice. There are many players across the league who have joined me in working toward new legislation and reestablishing trust and opportunities in our communities, and you can expect to see much more of that. I want to thank the fans across the country who have supported me in this effort to fight for equality and justice. I want to thank those that have dedicated their lives to this fight, as I know that it is not easy. And I want to challenge those who stay silent to be courageous and use your platforms to become part of the solution. God Bless.”