Malcolm Jenkins says he will no longer raise his fist during the national anthem

In the wake of the NFL pledging to donate $89 million to local and national charities related to issues raised by protesting players, one of the leaders of the Players Coalition, the group responsible for striking the deal with the NFL, has decided he will no longer demonstrate during pregame national anthems.

Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia Eagles safety and unofficial Players Coalition spokesman, said Thursday that he no longer intends to raise his fist during the anthem as a result of the NFL's increased efforts to tackle social injustices.

"I don't anticipate demonstrating this week simply because I felt like, when I started demonstrating, my whole motivation was to draw awareness to disenfranchised people, communities of color, injustices around the country, our criminal justice system," Jenkins said, reported Zach Berman the Philadelphia Inquirer. "And obviously, through this year and talking with the league and what they've kind of proposed ... has presented a bigger and better platform to continue to raise that awareness."

In other words, with the NFL finally putting tangible touches on its engagement with protesting players and the issues they raised by demonstrating during the anthem, Jenkins feels as though his voice has been heard.

He added, per Berman, that his decision didn't stem directly from the NFL's $89 million donation plan -- "I personally wouldn't just accept a check and move on," he said. But either way, his pregame routine of raising a fist, which drew support from teammate Chris Long and spawned meetings with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, local law enforcement and other players around the league, is expected to come to a close.

Jenkins first started raising a fist as a peaceful call for racial equality and criminal justice reform in 2016. After hundreds of NFL players followed in the footsteps of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick with similar protests in 2017, Jenkins became an unofficial leader for the Players Coalition, a group of more than 40 player activists who sought NFL support in education, justice and law enforcement reform.

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