Eagles player says he'll protest the national anthem, even if Kaepernick doesn't
There will be at least one player in the NFL this year who will be protesting during the national anthem
It looks like the movement started by Colin Kaepernick last season isn't going to end during the 2017 season just because he's out of football. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins revealed this week that he'll be protesting during the national anthem again in 2017 after also protesting in 2016.
Like Kaepernick, Jenkins will be protesting racial injustice and police brutality against minorities. However, unlike Kaepernick, Jenkins won't be kneeling during the national anthem. Instead, the Eagles safety raises a fist over his head, like he did during Philadelphia's opening preseason game Thursday against the Packers.
Jenkins released a lengthy statement this week explaining why he'll once again be protesting.
"Last season, I raised my fist as a sign of solidarity to support people, especially people of color, who were and are still unjustly losing their lives at the hands of officers with little to no consequence," Jenkins said, via ESPN.com "After spending time with police officers on ride-alongs, meeting with politicians on the state and federal level and grass roots organizations fighting for human rights, it's clear that our criminal justice system is still crippling communities of color through mass incarceration."
Jenkins also added that criminal justice reform needs to be made a priority.
"With the new call for a war on crime and drugs, the disproportionate oppression of poor communities and communities of color will continue unless legislative efforts and community engagement are made a priority," Jenkins said. "I've seen signs of life with regards to bipartisan support for criminal justice reform, but the support does not reflect the necessary urgency for real reform. This must be made a priority."
Although Jenkins will be protesting in 2017, Kaepernick is unlikely to join him. Even if the free-agent quarterback signs with a team, there's a good chance he won't be kneeling during the national anthem. ESPN's Adam Schefterthat Kaepernick plans on standing for the national anthem this season if he's on a team.
As for Jenkins, it doesn't sound like he's going to stop his protest anytime soon.
"I want to send a message that we will not easily be moved or deterred from fighting for justice," Jenkins said. "There are many players across the league who have joined me in working toward new legislation and reestablishing trust and opportunities in our communities, and you can expect to see much more of that."
Jenkins has been one Kaepernick's biggest supporters. In June, heas "genius."
Earlier this month, Jenkins also had Kaepernick's back. The Eagles safety said thatKaepernick is cowardly.
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