Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Chris Long were excused from Philadelphia’s light practice session on Tuesday as they attended a league meeting in New York. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie was also in attendance at the meeting. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was notably absent.
Players and owners attending this morning's meeting to discuss social issues. pic.twitter.com/7SNMvlZ6Ko— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 17, 2017
The NFL and NFLPA released a joint-statement following Tuesday’s meeting.
Today owners and players had a productive meeting focused on how we can work together to promote positive social change and address inequality in our communities. NFL executives and owners joined NFLPA executives and player leaders to review and discuss plans to utilize our platform to promote equality and effectuate positive change. We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together.
As we said last week, everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military. In the best American tradition, we are coming together to find common ground and commit to the hard work required for positive change.
Jenkins was interviewed by reporters after the meeting. Here’s all what he had to say, via TMZ.
Q: HOW DID THE MEETING GO?
JENKINS: It felt like the meeting went really well. Obviously, we’ve been invited up here to be able to speak with the owners about some of the issues of injustice that we’ve seen in our communities and how as players we want to use our platforms. And we just talked about how the owners could come along aside us and we could collectively, collaboratively work together to actually create some change. Some real change. And so those conversations will continue, the dialogue will continue. As players, we’ll continue to do the work in our communities. We feel like that’s the most American to do, is to use your platform and influence. And with the stage with we have as NFL players, and as a league in general, we feel a real responsibility to our country, our communities. So we’re working through ways to have long-lasting, real change.
Q: DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GETTING CLOSER TO A FINAL DECISION BEING MADE?
Jenkins: There have been plenty of conversations leading up to this meeting. There will be some more. Obviously, the issues that we’re fighting against, they’ve been here longer than us. We don’t expect for them to change over night. But we’ll continue to work in collaboration and have conservations to see if we can make some change.
Q: IS THERE ANY SENSE THAT THEY WILL CHANGE THE NATIONAL ANTHEM RULES?
Jenkins: None of that was talked about today.
Q: WILL PLAYERS CONTINUE TO TAKE A KNEE?
Jenkins: I think that’s up to each individual.
Q: HOW BIG OF A PART OF THE MEETING WAS ABOUT THE NATIONAL ANTHEM?
Jenkins: Actually ... very, very little of the meeting was about the actual anthem. We were really talking more about solutions how we can get the results we need.
In addition to their demonstrations on the field, Jenkins and Long have been very active in the community off the field. Earlier this year, the NFLPA presented Jenkins with the Byron "Whizzer White" Award, which honors "players who go above and beyond to perform community service in their team cities and hometowns." Long is eligible to win the same award this year after donating his first six game checks to fund scholarships in Charlottesville.