Malcolm Jenkins explains why he stayed in tunnel during anthem

By Jesse Reed

On Thursday night before the Philadelphia Eagles took on the New England Patriots for their second preseason game, safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De’Vante Bausby remained in the tunnel during the playing of the national anthem.

Jenkins has been one of the players who has been extremely vocal about protesting societal issues, and using the anthem as a platform to do that, in the past.

So with that in mind it was somewhat surprising that he chose to remain off the field on Thursday.

On Friday, Jenkins explained his reason for doing so.

“I want the conversation to be about the issues, not the anthem and whether it’s the right time or wrong time,” Jenkins said, per John Clark of NBC Philadelphia Sports. “There’s a lot of work being done. I want that to be the focus.”

This reasoning very much follows the message Jenkins sent after President Donald Trump disinvited the Eagles earlier this year ahead of their scheduled White House visit for winning Super Bowl LII.

The NFLPA has also been sending a similar message about all the work being done by players off the field, which has largely gone underreported as the anthem debate rages on.

Given the way the anthem has become a lightning rod for controversy, which has in turn drowned out the message that players have been trying to send, one wonders if other players will follow Jenkins’ lead here going forward.