Malcolm Jenkins on National Anthem protests: 'We don't really like doing this'
One of the NFL's vocal leaders says he is ready to move passed National Anthem protests, as soon as the league is ready to collaborate.
Malcolm Jenkins, the Eagles' outspoken safety who has been protesting during the National Anthem since last year in an effort to raise awareness for the racial issues infecting the United States, was supposed to meet with the NFL Monday. He and other players — potentially including blackballed quarterback Colin Kaepernick — were planning to attend a meeting that has been called off, or postponed. Jenkins says he has no idea why the meeting is off.
"I feel like we've done everything that we've needed to do to work in a collaborative effort with the league," Jenkins said Sunday, following a 33-10 win over the 49ers. "We have shown up at meetings they have requested, we have had conversations they have wanted to. And we are waiting for follow up from meetings a few weeks ago, and are still waiting."
Last week, Jenkins and other Eagles players traveled to Harrisburg in support of criminal justice reform legistlation. Last offseason, Jenkins rode along with Philadelphia police officers to see first hand what it is like for cops in big cities.
Every Sunday he raises his fist in a subtle protest.
But he doesn't want to.
"They want to get back to football, we want to get past anthem demonstrations," he said, "but to do that we have to be able to replace the platform that we have."
Jenkins continued, "Any player who is protesting will tell you the only reason we use the anthem is because it's a platform like no other. We use it to draw attention to other issues. We have heard from many people to use a different venue and platform but quite frankly, this is the most effective one. Here we are. It's been a year a a half and it's still news at the top of every hour. We don't really enjoy doing this. We'd love to have a different platform and we think thats something we could work collaborative with the NFL to create."
Jenkins says he is proud of the players, as they continue to show solidarity. He is also optimistic that the league will follow through.
"Behind closed doors they talk about supporting us and getting something done," he said.