Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins was one of the many players who joined Colin Kaepernick's protest against racial injustice last season by raising a fist during the national anthem. Almost a year later, Jenkins remains supportive of Kaepernick's protest.
During a recent interview with ESPN, Jenkins explained why he believes the protest was "genius."
"Now that you look back at the season and what's transpired since then, I think Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel or take a seat or to protest the national anthem was genius and worked better than I think he even probably assumed at first," Jenkins said. "Because here we are a year later and it's still a topic of conversation, and it sparked a conversation that's been long-lasting. And since then, guys have really moved into action and have been doing a lot in the community."
That makes sense, at least partially. Kaepernick's protest likely hurt his ability to find a new home after opting out of his contract with the 49ers this offseason -- after all, he's a top-32 NFL quarterback and he still doesn't have a new job -- but as Jenkins noted, it's still being talked about a year later. So, in that sense, Kaepernick's protest has been effective.
"I mean, ultimately it's to bring awareness and make people realize what's really going on in this country. There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren't being held accountable for, and that's something that needs to change.
That's something that-this country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all. And it's not happening for all right now."
But it's also worth noting that the discourse these days is almost entirely about Kaepernick's employment status and not the issues he was protesting in the first place. Even though Kaepernick has continually backed up his protest with his wallet, the entire conversation is steered around the fact that Kaepernick remains unemployed. That's not Kaepernick's fault, of course.
Anyway, as our Ryan Wilson covered earlier Friday, Kaepernick continues to generate support around the leagues. Dolphins safety Michael Thomas joined Jenkins in speaking out in support of Kaepernick. And in previous weeks, coaches who've worked with Kaepernick -- Jim Harbaugh and Eric Mangini -- have shown their support.
Kaepernick still doesn't have a job, though. He recently visited the Seahawks, but they don't appear to be ready to sign him, even though Pete Carroll called him a starting-caliber quarterback on Friday.
Carroll on Kaepernick: "At this time we didn't do anything with it but we know where he is + who he is. ... He's a starter in this league."— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 2, 2017
Carroll on Kap: "He's capable of being a championship guy." Has had ups and downs but "he's shown enough ups that you know he can do that."— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 2, 2017