NFL Player Malcolm Jenkins Calls Out Teammate Drew Brees For Saying Kneeling During National Anthem Is ‘Disrespectful’
Malcolm Jenkins has called out his New Orleans Saints teammate Drew Brees after the latter said he would never agree with NFL players taking a knee in protest, describing it as ‘disrespectful to the flag’.
Jenkins took to social media to explain why Brees’ comments were hurtful and insensitive, particularly at a time when thousands are demanding justice for the black community in protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
In the emotional four-minute video, where 32-year-old Jenkins occasionally became tearful, he told his teammate that he is ‘part of the problem’ if he can’t understand why his comments are problematic.
It comes after Brees, in a new interview with Yahoo Finance, made it clear he wouldn’t agree with his fellow players taking a knee during the national anthem this season.
The take-a-knee action was inspired by American football star Colin Kaepernick, who staged a peaceful protest in 2016 by refusing to stand during the national anthem, to draw attention to racial inequality.
Since then, it has become synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement, with demonstrators using the action in recent days to highlight the cruel and unjust way Floyd died.
Brees also mentioned the sacrifices of those in the military, referencing his two grandfathers who ‘risk[ed] their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place’.
Responding to Brees’ comments in his Instagram post, Jenkins addressed his teammate directly, telling him: ‘If you don’t understand how hurtful, how insensitive your comments are, you’re part of the problem.’
Alongside the video, Jenkins explained in his caption that, since filming it, Brees had reached out to him ‘to discuss his point of view’. However, he told his followers he still decided to post the video to let people know ‘how these words and actions affect those who you want to help’.
The NFL player said:
Here we are in 2020, with the whole country on fire, everybody witnessing a black man dying – being murdered – at the hands of the police, just in cold blood, for everybody to see. The whole country’s on fire, and the first thing that you do is criticise one’s peaceful protest?
That was years ago, when we were trying to signal a sign for help, and signal for our allies and our white brothers and sisters, the people we consider to be friends, to get involved. It was ignored.
Jenkins then became emotional when talking about his teammates on the field, saying: ‘The same guys that you go into battle with every single day go home to communities that have been decimated.’
He ended by saying he was ‘hurt’, because ‘while the world tells you you’re not worthy, that your life doesn’t matter, the last place you want to hear it from are… the guys you consider to be allies and to be your friends’.
‘Even though we’re teammates, I can’t let this slide,’ he said.
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CreditsMalcolm Jenkins/Instagram and 2 others
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