As the kickoff to the new NFL season approaches the conversations surrounding players protesting police brutality during the playing of the national anthem are heating up.
And, of course, President Trump is already weighing in on social media. Trump has regularly accused NFL players of insulting the flag, the military, and America by kneeling during the anthem.
Last Friday Trump took another shot at the NFL, tweeting:
“The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again. Can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!”
The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
But Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who first raised his fist during week two of the 2016 season, is determined not to be silenced.
“At the end of the day, I’m fighting for people,” Jenkins told NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt. “I’m fighting for Americans and citizens that have been disenfranchised, that have been systemically oppressed for centuries.”
During the 2017 season, Jenkins and retired NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin founded the Players Coalition, a group of around 40 NFL players focused on criminal justice reform issues within communities across the U.S.
Members convinced the NFL to agree to donate $89 million over seven years to projects dedicated to criminal justice reform and community outreach.
And Jenkins recently made headlines in June when he staged a silent protest by refusing to speak during his entire interview with the press—choosing to instead answer questions by holding up signs that explained how NFL players are protesting police brutality and racial injustice, NOT disrespecting troops or the flag. There’s no doubt that this was done in response to the Philadelphia Eagles getting disinvited from their traditional White House visit for winning the Super Bowl.
NFL star @MalcolmJenkins: “We can talk about social issues and still have a great game.”
The @Eagles player sat down for an exclusive interview with @LesterHoltNBC to discuss the social issues players have brought on the field. See more tonight on @NBCNightlyNews. pic.twitter.com/fhhfNzRp5C
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) July 25, 2018