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September 07, 2018

Malcolm Jenkins: 'Kaepernick will be looked at as somebody who not only changed the direction this sport but the dynamic of athletes in general'

Eagles NFL
011818_Jenkins-Eagles_usat Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins reacts to a defensive stop against the Atlanta Falcons.

Malcolm Jenkins protested with a raised fist during the preseason and also stayed in the locker room during the National Anthem.

It's obvious that one of the civic leaders in modern sports is being thoughtful about how best to proceed, as was made even more clear as he stood at attention and did not demonstrate prior to kickoff in the Eagles season opener against the Falcons Thursday.

"At this point, I think it's important for us as a movement to continue to change and adapt to the context of the situation and I think there's a huge need for us to turn the attention to the issues and what players are doing in their communities to effect change," Jenkins said after the 18-12 win. "We are focused on the systemic issues in our communities.

"At this point now, the focus hopefully will turn more to the work."

This doesn't mean Jenkins isn't whole-heartedly supporting those who do speak out. 

When asked about the recent Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers former quarterback who was the first to demonstrate by taking a knee during the Star Spangled Banner a few seasons ago, Jenkins grinned with delight.

"I loved it," he said. "Nike did a good job of taking the context of what happening right now and taking someone who has been demonized and vilified by the media and holding him up on a pedestal. Long after this is all done, Kaepernick will be looked at as somebody who not only changed the direction this sport but the dynamic of athletes in general and quite frankly our country."

Kaepernick is still unemployed despite many in the sport claiming he is more talented than a bevy of current NFL quarterbacks on rosters. He is suing the NFL and his lawsuit is proceeding.

Will Jenkins keep quite (with his actions) on the sidelines all season?

"We'll see. I will continue to focus on changing our community."

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