Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins and two teammates raised their fists during the playing of the national anthem on Monday Night Football in Chicago.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins lived up to the promise of saying that he would be supporting San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his protest of social injustices by making a statement during the national anthem on Monday night in Chicago.
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During the playing of the national anthem at Soldier Field on Monday night, Jenkins and two of his Eagles teammates, Steven Means and Ron Brooks, raised their closed right fists to support Kaepernick.
Kaepernick started this peaceful protest movement in the NFL for social injustices by sitting out the playing of the national anthem during 49ers preseason games. It became a national story once of photo of him surfaced sitting out the anthem during the 49ers third preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
Kaepernick has since opted to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem out of respect for the United States military. Players have followed his lead in their own forms of peaceful protest during other national anthems.
What sets Jenkins, Means, and Brooks’ protest apart is that they raised their fists in the manner often associated with the Black Power movement of the 1960s. This controversial hand gesture became well-known in the United States when American track stars John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists while wearing black gloves during the playing of the national anthem after medalling at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City.
Jenkins, Means, and Brooks didn’t wear black gloves like Carlos and Smith did in Mexico City, but the Eagles players’ message was loud and clear on a nationally televised event on ESPN. Kaepernick has supporters in many NFL locker rooms outside of his in the Bay Area.