Malcolm Jenkins will no longer be raising his fist in the air during the national anthem prior to NFL games. The Philadelphia Eagles safety said as much in the locker room on Thursday.
Here's Malcolm Jenkins explaining why he will not demonstrate during the national anthem on Sunday: pic.twitter.com/HcxHAzYAvv— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) November 30, 2017
Jenkins insisted this is not about the money the league's investing. "I personally wouldn’t just accept a check a move on. What I wanted to make sure happened is we replace the platform that we’ve been using." Thinks there's a plan to "amplify these issues."— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) November 30, 2017
Jenkins: "There’s a lot still to be done. I’m not popping champagne bottles just yet. But I am looking forward to continuing to work and providing an area for other players to amplify their efforts as well.”— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) November 30, 2017
Jenkins has been demonstrating since the start of the 2016 season, shortly after Colin Kaepernick began kneeling on the sideline. So why the change now? Here’s a lot of good information from a recent ESPN report:
In an unprecedented move for a major professional sports league, the NFL has proposed partnering with its players to effect social justice change, though not all players are in agreement on the proposal.
On Monday, the league submitted to players the final draft of a proposal that, according to documents reviewed by ESPN, would contribute nearly $100 million to causes considered important to African-American communities. The NFL hopes this effort will effectively end the peaceful-yet-controversial movement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started when he refused to stand for the national anthem last season.
Under the proposal, money at both the national and local level would provide grants for nonprofit organizations focused on law enforcement and community relations, criminal justice reform and education reform.
As a leader of the Players Coalition, Jenkins has been one of the main people involved in negotiations with the NFL.
Not everyone is on board, though. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid — Kaepernick’s former teammate — and Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas withdrew from the Players Coalition on Wednesday. They both issued the following statement:
"The Players Coalition was supposed to be formed as a group that represents NFL Athletes who have been silently protesting social injustices and racism. However, Malcolm and Anquan [Boldin] can no longer speak on our behalf as we don't believe the coalition's beliefs are in our best interests as a whole."
Jenkins disputed their claims and called their decisions to withdraw “disappointing.”
Jenkins’ decision not to protest anymore indicates a level of satisfaction with the NFL’s response to demonstrations. Some players clearly feel differently.
This initiative between the NFL, owners and Players Coalition does not mandate an end to any player demonstrations. Its always been about the issues; strengthening the criminal justice system and fight for racial and social equality. #PlayersCoalition pic.twitter.com/4Nl2pP5ltG— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) November 30, 2017