Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said Monday that he wouldn’t stop raising a fist during the national anthem even if the owner of a team he played for said something similar to Jerry Jones, who said he would sit players for disrespecting the flag.
While talking with Derrick Gunn of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Jenkins said he was “grateful” that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has been active in the community and reached out to learn about the issues players are protesting against and never expressed something similar to what Jones said Sunday. However, Jenkins said even if Laurie said something like Jones, it would not stop him from demonstrating during the anthem.
“I would still do it,” Jenkins said to NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I mean, I’ve been that committed to it because that decision is not mine. I made the decision a year ago that I was going to use my platform in a way to create positive change both on the field and off the field and having someone tell me I couldn’t do that simply because, you know, a president or your bottom line is getting ready to be affected, that wouldn’t deter me.”
Jenkins said kneeling during the anthem and his demonstration of raising a fist while standing during the anthem are “in no way disrespectful to our flag, our country or our service members,” because the demonstrations are not about the flag.
• Group of Four Sends Memo to Roger Goodell Asking for Support in Community Activism
“I think we’ve made that very clear that what we are demonstrating about has nothing to do with the flag but everything to do with social injustice, racial inequality and the things that, you know, Jerry Jones and other owners who are making statements have yet to address,” Jenkins said to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Jenkins added that he would like to hear the owners who oppose the anthem demonstrations talk about the issues players are protesting like police brutality, racial inequality and the education gap, because it could allow for a less argumentative conversation.
Jenkins, 29, has been one of the most visible players involved in the anthem demonstrations, because he has raised a fist during the anthem before every game since Week Two of last season, and because of the work he has done off the field to draw attention to the issues he and others are trying to get addressed.
It’s good to be a Philadelphia Eagle right now.
The Eagles are 5-1 following a signature road win over the Carolina Panthers Thursday night, and with their next game not until next Monday, the players now get the equivalent of a mini-bye.
They were riding high in the visitors locker room of Bank of America Stadium as Thursday night turned to early Friday morning. No one was feeling it more than safety Malcolm Jenkins.
His dance quickly spread across social media platforms, and is a fun part of the conversation on a day of celebration in Philadelphia.