As to where Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned heading into the first full week of the NFL preseason, another somewhat high-profile figure has picked up the National Anthem protest where Kaepernick himself left off.
Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl safety Malcolm Jenkins raised his fist in solidarity with the protest that captivated some (and angered others) around the NFL world last season. He did so prior to Philadelphia’s initial preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday evening.
#Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins continued to hold his right fist in the air during the national anthem as a sign of protest over racial injustice.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) August 11, 2017
Now, it looks like Jenkins will continue this protest into the 2017 regular season.
“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 in a statement, via ESPN. “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.”
Outside of the team’s Week 1 game last season (on September 11th), Jenkins raised his fist during the National Anthem to protest perceived police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. And while he did work with those he’s protesting against during the offseason, the former first-round pick thinks it’s in his best interest to continue the demonstration.
“As the blowback against those who stand up for what is right thickens, I feel it is necessary to push forward with a relentless determination,” Jenkins continued. “I want to send a message that we will not easily be moved or deterred from fighting for justice.”
It’s obvious he is focusing on the fact that Kaepernick has not been singed. To some, it’s a sign that the former Super Bowl quarterback is being blackballed by the NFL.
In any event, it will be interesting to see if the National Anthem protest around the NFL continues this season sans Kaepernick himself. If Jenkins’ stance is any indication, we might only be seeing the beginning of this.