While free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still without an NFL home for his protest against the killing by police of unarmed African-American men, women and children, he still has at least one NFL supporter.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who’s been a champion of Kaepernick’s protest since the beginning, continued his silent protest of raising his fist during the national anthem before the Eagles’ preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
Jenkins has been one of the most vocal and visible players supporting Kaepernick’s kneeling protest, which began last year. Jenkins not only began showing his support of Kaepernick’s protest but also hailed the move as “genius” and called owners who refused to sign Kepernick cowards.
Jenkins had this to say in a statement viewed by NBC Sports:
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. 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. 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. 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.
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. I want to send a message that we will not easily be moved or deterred from fighting for justice. 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. I want to thank the fans across the country who have supported me in this effort to fight for equality and justice. I want to thank those that have dedicated their lives to this fight, as I know that it is not easy. And I want to challenge those who stay silent to be courageous and use your platforms to become part of the solution. God Bless.”
Many have argued that while fans have noted that they will protest the NFL this season, the true impact will only be felt by the league if players band together to make a statement.
At least one player is courageous enough to raise his fist to power.
Read more at NBC Sports.