In the hooplah of the Super Bowl champion Eagles returning to play, I had almost forgotten that the anthem was a thing that we were going to have to pay attention to. Regardless, things went about as you would have expected for the notable Philadelphians.
Malcolm Jenkins had his fist raised for the anthem—something he did for a good portion of last season, though he stopped that particular demonstration because he felt as if he had done well to draw awareness to the issues that spurred on his protest in the first place. Clearly, Jenkins’ conscience has been stirred enough that he feels the impetus to bring awareness to different issues, or perhaps re-emphasize the previous issues.
Jenkins did release this tweet in the hours before the game began, from the Eagles locker room:
Before we enjoy this game lets take some time to ponder that more than 60% of the prison population are people of color. The NFL is made up of 70% African Americans. What you witness on the field does not represent the reality of everyday— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) August 9, 2018
America. We are the anomalies... pic.twitter.com/gCeNKuTl1d
So clearly, while the circumstances are the protests during the anthem may have changed, Jenkins’ activism will be as front and center as ever on his platform.
Chris Long had his arm draped over Malcolm, as he has done before. As far as additions to the protests go, CB De’Vante Bausby stood slightly behind Malcolm and Chris, also with his fist raised. Bausby strikes me as a quieter guy in the locker room from when I’ve spoken to him; it will be interesting to hear about the process he went through to when deciding to demonstrate.
Michael Bennett remained in the tunnel at least when the anthem began, but walked onto the sideline while it was underway. He mostly just paced along the sideline for the remainder of the anthem, never standing at attention but also not really doing anything, either.
Around the league, there were more noteworthy protests than those in Philadelphia tonight.
Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled during the national anthem.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 9, 2018
It will be curious to see what, if any, response comes from the teams or the league in the midst of a very hazy anthem policy as it currently stands.