CHICAGO -- Malcolm Jenkins and two other Philadelphia Eagles raised their right fists during the national anthem before Monday Night Football, the latest athletes to join in Colin Kaepernick’s protest of racial inequality and police brutality.
Standing at midfield, Jenkins was flanked by defensive end Steven Means and cornerback Ron Brooks. As Jim Cornelison, famed in Chicago for his rendition of the anthem before Blackhawks games, began to sing, the three raised their fists. No other Eagles joined them, nor did any Bears visibly demonstrate on the other side of the field.
Jenkins had made no secret of his plans, saying last week that he and other Eagles wanted to further the national conversation sparked by Kaepernick. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback first sat and now kneels during the anthem to draw attention to police violence against minorities and other issues of inequality, and has been joined by several other NFL players.
“There’s just a lot of things systematically that have been set up in this country since its inception that really … put minorities, especially African Americans, at a disadvantage when you talk about quality of life and actually growing in this country,” Jenkins said Friday on WIP-FM in Philadelphia. “So we want to continue to keep that conversation going, push it to as many people as we can, obviously while also doing our part in bringing forth change.”
Jenkins said the Eagles had talked about protesting during the season opener, but decided against it because they didn’t want to take away attention from the 15th anniversary of 9/11.