Three members of the Philadelphia Eagles took part in a protest during the National Anthem before the Chicago Bears game Monday night.
Cornerbacks Malcolm Jenkins and Ron Brooks, as well as defensive end Steven Means all raised their fists in the air during the anthem at Soldier Field. [[394052851, C]]
"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'll probably join in."
When asked if he anticipates whether he and other players will be "showing their feelings," Jenkins responded, "Definitely."
His affirmation came just days after NFL players joined in the protests ignited by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sat, then kneeled, for the playing of the national anthem beginning in August to call attention to the oppression of minorities across the United States.
Kaepernick's actions set off a national conversation that several other NFL players, including four members of the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, and Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, have joined.
"There's been league-wide discussions about this topic," Jenkins said Friday. "There's a lot of guys that want to speak out and want to be a part of the movement but just aren't sure about which way they want to go about doing that, and I think you've seen guys over the last couple weeks join in in various ways."
While some have expressed support for the message of the demonstrations, the protests have sparked outrage among others, including local police unions in Miami and San Francisco, both of which have threatened some form of boycott.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also weighed in on Kaepernick's protest ahead of the NFL's opening week, saying, "I don't necessarily agree with what he's doing."
President Obama, however, defended players' "constitutional right" to demonstrate, noting that Kaepernick is among many sports figures who have used their positions to speak out.
"For me, it has nothing to do with this country or the flag or the anthem or the NFL," Jenkins said Friday. "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 and education. It's just a lot of things systematically that have been set up in this country since its inception that really put minorities, especially African-Americans, at a disadvantage when we're talking about quality of life and actually growing in this country."
"Obviously this has been a hot topic and the more players that join in, the further this conversation goes," he added.