Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod continued to demonstrate during the national anthem to bring attention to social and racial injustices before the Philadelphia Eagles played the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football.
The two Eagles starting safeties stood on the sideline with their right fists raised while defensive end Chris Long had his left arm around Jenkins protesting the national anthem and President Trump.
Jenkins raised his fist during the pregame playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before every game since Week 2 of last season (2016). Thursday night marked the 25th time — including the preseason — Jenkins has acted this way. This is the third straight game where McLeod has raised a BLM fist, joining in the protests in the third week of the preseason when he joined Long in putting his arm around Jenkins.
Long became the first white player to join the demonstrations when he put his arm around Jenkins before Week 2 of the preseason. That was in the aftermath of the white nationalist rally where violence left one woman dead in Charlottesville, Va., where Long grew up and attended college at the University of Virginia.
NFL Player protests have gained national attention recently after President Trump called them out for disrespecting our the national anthem and our flag.
The conversation around demonstrations and protests during the national anthem continued this week when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to each team where he wrote, “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem.”
Goodell told NFL Network’s Nate Burleson on Wednesday that there is no mandate for players to stand during the national anthem. None of the current Eagles have kneeled during the national anthem this season — former cornerback Ron Brooks did in the preseason — but Jenkins said he understands those who use that form of protest.
President Donald Trump called out the protesting NFL players at a rally in Alabama on Sept. 22. He called them unpatriotic and said teams should release players who do not stand during the pregame ceremony.
The following Sunday, the Eagles locked arms and were joined by owner Jeffrey Lurie, executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman and team president Don Smolenski as part of league-wide demonstrations in response to Trump’s comments.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that the NFL is “demanding” players to stand, but Goodell refuted that claim to Burleson.
Goodell is meeting with owners next week, and the issue will be brought be discussed among NFL and NFL Players Association leadership.
Jenkins said he will still continue his off-the-field work even if there is a new mandate on what players are allowed to do during the anthem.
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SOURCE: PENN LIVE