Several NFL players joined San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick in making some sort of demonstration during the national anthem in Week 1. Kaepernick’s teammate Eric Reid , as well as four Miami Dolphins ( Arian Foster , Kenny Stills , Jelani Jenkins , and Michael Thomas ) took a knee during the anthem, while Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots , Marcus Peters of the Kansas City Chiefs , and Jurrell Casey , Wesley Woodyard , and Jason McCourty of the Tennessee Titans raised their fists to the air during the anthem.
Nobody from the Philadelphia Eagles made any sort of demonstration, but that will apparently change in Week 2 against the Bears, when the team will engage in some sort of group demonstration during the anthem.
“Everybody wants to be a part of it and I feel like it’s no different on our team,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said in a Friday radio appearance, per CSNPhilly.com. “We 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 we didn’t do anything to take away from the folks, the families, that suffered from 9-11. 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, getting ahead of the criticism that is sure to come his way (though there has also been wide-ranging support, pretty much every player who has demonstrated has been criticized in some corners for “disrespecting” the flag or the anthem), clarified exactly why he might participate in the demonstration.
“For me, it has nothing to do with this country or the flag or the anthem in itself,” Jenkins said. “Really, it’s just to continue to push for the conversation about social injustice. And that’s a range of things from police brutality to wages and job opportunities to education. It’s just a lot of things systematically that have been set up in this country, since its inception that really put minorities, especially African-Americans, at a disadvantage, when you’re talking 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 also doing our part in bringing forth change. And I think, obviously, this has been a hot topic and the more players that join in, the further this conversation goes. And I think after the initial shock of what happened and once everybody started to listen to what his message was, it’s become a really good conversation that’s going on nationwide. I think every player has an opinion and definitely wants to share, use their stage to do better.”
Jenkins merely wanting to keep the conversation going and push it forward puts him largely on the same page as Kaepernick, who stated in a Q&A session with the media after his stance became public that he wanted to shed light on the issues of police brutality and the treatment of people of color in America in order to start conversations about how to make things better.
Source: CBS Sports / Some Eagles are planning anthem demonstration for Monday Night Football