Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins talked to the media on Wednesday, June 6. Except, he never said a word. Jenkins used signs to convey his message and the first sign had big letters written on it and simply said: “You aren’t listening.”
This clearly stems back to the national anthem protests that Colin Kaepernick started almost two years ago.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Kaepernick said on his decision to sit back in 2016.
That purpose, Jenkins would attest, has been lost given the NFL’s new policy on the anthem, which requires players to stand if they are on the field for the anthem.
As reporters asked Jenkins questions about the sign he was holding and about the cancelled White House visit, he continued to reveal more signs which contained facts such as: “More than 60 percent of people in prison are people of color”. Also, his signs were on other facts that reflected social injustice against people of color in the United States.
Later on, the former Buckeye held up a sign that, at the top, said “True Patriots” and listed players who have helped spread these messages: Anquan Boldin, Josh McCown, Chris Long, Torrey Smith, Richard Sherman, Devin McCourty, and many more.
Next, Jenkins held up signs that reflect what many of those players have done to promote change. Anytime someone asked him about why he was using cue cards, not speaking, or anything relating to his message, he held up the sign that said “You aren’t listening” again.
It’s important to note that throughout this whole saga reporters are trying to ask Jenkins questions about the White House and Trump’s decision to cancel the Eagles’ visit. Jenkins continued to go through his routine with the signs because to him, anytime players open their mouths, reporters aren’t listening.
The reporters aren’t listening to Jenkins so he won’t listen to the reporters and he’s tired of the narrative being about the anthem and the White House. The Eagles’ safety wants to bring attention back to the real reason the whole protest started in the first place.
Is he upset? Yes he’s upset. Is the message getting lost? Yes the message is lost. And that’s because no one’s listening.
As Jenkins said: “We just have to continue to stay on topic, [and] continue to push the issues and not this narrative of who’s right or who’s wrong, but what are the reasons why players are even so passionate about this.”