December 01, 2017
Malcolm Jenkins says he will not protest the national anthem before Sunday night's game against the Seahawks, citing the NFL's financial pledge to social justice issues.
The Eagles safety has been raising his right fist during the anthem since last season, following in the footsteps of quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes who have been demonstrating.
But Jenkins will end the practice after the Player Coalition he co-founded and the NFL agreed to commit $89 million over seven years to projects focused on criminal justice reform and related issues, according to ESPN.
Jenkins said his decision to end the protest wasn't as much about the money as it was the specific platform the league was proposing.
"All of this really is in good faith, and I think if the league continues to come through or deliver on their word, then I see no need to go back to what I was doing," Jenkins told ESPN.
His decision follows a falling out with San Francisco 49ers player Eric Reid, who, along with Kaepernick, sparked the initial anthem protests last season. Reid said Wednesday he left the Players Coalition after Jenkins asked him if he'd be comfortable ending the demonstrations if the NFL made a donation.
Reid also said Jenkins excluded Kaepernick from the Coalition's meetings. He said Jenkins asking him to end the protests was the "last straw."
"We agreed that multiple people would be part of the conversations with the league so it just wouldn't be him," Reid said, according to the Associated Press. "He didn't stand by his word on that. At no point did we ever communicate an agreement with the NFL to end the protest."
Jenkins told the AP he was surprised Reid left, saying he thought the talks were productive despite disagreements, adding he wasn't sure about Kaepernick wanting to get involved.
"I saw this as an opportunity to create a group of players that could use their voice together to really make some change, and we still have that opportunity," Jenkins said. "We've been able to go from protests to now speaking with ownership about something that's never been in place before. We're proud of that."