Malcolm Jenkins says Eagles plan to protest during anthem on MNF

Safety Malcolm Jenkins expects members of the Philadelphia Eagles to make a statement during the national anthem prior to Monday night's game at the Chicago Bears.

Speaking on Sportsradio 94WIP, Jenkins said he believes there will "definitely" be players on the Eagles who will show their feelings about social injustice prior to kickoff, as Colin Kaepernick and others have done across the league.

"Last week, we talked about doing some stuff, but we wanted to make sure that we didn't do anything to take away from the families that suffered from 9/11," Jenkins said. "We didn't want to mess with that day, so we left last week alone. But moving forward, I'm sure there will be guys that will probably join in."

Jenkins added that he will "most likely" be one of those players.

"For me, it has nothing to do with this country or the flag or the anthem in itself," he said. "Really it's just to continue to push forward the conversation about social injustice, and that's a range of things from police brutality to wages and job opportunities, education. There's just a lot of things systematically that have been set up in this country since its inception that put minorities, especially African-Americans, at a disadvantage when you talk about quality of life and actually growing in this country.

"So we want to continue to keep that conversation going and push it to as many people as we can obviously while doing our part in bringing forth change. Obviously this has been a hot topic, and the more players that join in, the further this conversation goes."

Jenkins said he has had a conversation with head coach Doug Pederson about the possibility of a player gesture.

"I'm not sure," Jenkins said when asked exactly how the players intended on expressing themselves. "I still want to talk to some of my teammates. There's been conversations that we've had of, what do we want to do? Do we want to do something as a team or as individuals? And I think that's still being discussed. But I doubt that we'll have anybody kneeling."

Asked about Jenkins' comments on Saturday, Pederson said: "Listen, I respect players' decisions. Everybody has their right to either protest or whatever they are going to do. Malcolm and I have talked about this. It's going to happen regardless of what I decide or say, and I respect the players' decisions on it. The biggest thing is I just don't want it to become a distraction to the rest of the team. That's the biggest thing from my standpoint."

Pederson added that he did not think the league demonstrations had been a distraction for teams to this point. He said that he did not know what Jenkins' plans were, but that he would support a team-wide demonstration if the players decided to go that route.

"Listen, if they wanted to do something team-wide, I would definitely be for that," he said. "I think it just shows unity, and there's no division that way."

Pederson also praised Jenkins for his leadership and community involvement.

"Malcolm is a class act all the way," he said. "He does a lot of things in the community here. He speaks out on a lot of things. He's a great teammate and a great leader of this football team. I just appreciate him coming to me first and just letting me know."

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