Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Chris Long, who peacefully protested throughout the 2017 season and spoke against police brutality and social injustices, slammed NFL owners’ new national anthem policy for the 2018 season.
During Wednesday’s NFL owners’ meeting in Atlanta, owners approved the implementation of fines if players do not stand during the playing of the national anthem.
Jenkins and Long were two of several NFL players to peacefully protest by kneeling, sitting, locking arms or raising a fist during the playing of the national anthem last season. Jenkins typically raised a fist peacefully while Long put his arm around Jenkins and spoke with media after games supporting his teammate’s convictions and decision to silently protest.
In a statement on Twitter Wednesday, Jenkins wrote when he raised his fist last season during the playing of the national anthem, it wasn’t about the action itself, but affecting real change.
“While I disagree with this decision, I will not let it silence me or stop me from fighting,” Jenkins said in a statement on Twitter. “The national conversation around race in America that NFL players forced over the past two years will persist as we continue to use our voices, our time and our money to create a more fair and just criminal justice system, end police brutality and foster better educational and economic opportunities for communities of color and those struggling in this country.”
Long also posted a statement on Twitter Wednesday writing he remained committed to using his platform to create change and advocate for the right of peaceful protest in the League.
The 10-year-veteran from Charlottesville, Va., donated his entire 2017 salary to charities that promote education equality.
“This is not patriotism,” Long wrote in part. “Don’t get it confused. These owners don’t love America more than the players demonstrating and taking real action to improve it. It also lets you, the fan, know where our league stands.
Long and Jenkins are two of several Eagles players who said they would not attend a White House ceremony honoring the team’s Super Bowl 52 win.
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