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NFL player gives silent interview to media, holds up signs to support protests instead

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins wants to refocus the debate on the issues.

Source: USA TODAY Sports/YouTube

MALCOLM JENKINS WANTS  to make things entirely clear.

On Wednesday, media made their way into the Philadelphia Eagles locker room after the White House disinvited the team from their ceremonial visit as Super Bowl champions. In place of their trip, the White House instead held a “celebration of the American flag” that emphasised the importance of standing for the national anthem.

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who took part in the ongoing protests of police brutality and racial inequality in America not by kneeling but by raising a fist in the air as the anthem played, has previously expressed frustration with the dishonesty and bad faith from those who oppose the protests.

“The decision was made to lie, to paint the picture that these players are anti-America, anti-flag and anti-military,” Jenkins said in a recent statement regarding the cancellation of the Eagles visit.

Meeting with media, Jenkins gave a silent interview. Instead, he held up a series of signs that appear to be an attempt to refocus the conversation that surrounds the protest onto the issues that players are protesting rather than the political shouting match that it has become.

“You aren’t listening,” read the first sign.

Jenkins then went on to highlight many of the issues that players who take part in the protests are hoping to raise awareness of. “More than 60% of the people in prison are people of color,” read one. “Nearly 200,000 juveniles enter the adult criminal system each year, most of them for non-violent crimes. #StopSchoolPipelineToPrison,” said another.

Other signs Jenkins held up featured facts about the disproportionate number of black men shot by the police, as well as another that read “Any given night 500,000 sit in jail. Convicted? No. Too poor? Yes. #EndCashBail”

Jenkins also used the signs as an opportunity to highlight the good works that NFL players have been taking part in to help address these issues, noting that Colin Kaepernick has donated $1 million to charity, and his Eagles teammate Chris Long donated the entirety of his salary for the 2017 season.

“Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Matt Slater, and Johnson Bademosi lobbied to raise the age from 7 to 12 entering the criminal justice system,” read another sign.

After the media session was over, Jenkins tweeted out the signs from his own account.

Rather than getting caught up in a debate that involves bad faith arguments attempting to connect his demonstration to a disrespect for the country, Jenkins’ signs make it inescapably clear what he is trying to say.

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