NFL Player Malcolm Jenkins Calls Out Teammate Drew Brees For Saying Kneeling During National Anthem Is ‘Disrespectful’

by : Lucy Connolly on : 04 Jun 2020 08:05

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.

Malcolm Jenkins Malcolm Jenkins PA Images

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.

Colin KaepernickColin KaepernickPA Images

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’.

Protesters taking a knee George FloydProtesters taking a knee George FloydPA Images

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.’

malcolm jenkins calls out teammatemalcolm jenkins calls out teammatemalcolmjenkins27/Instagram

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.


If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, America, Drew Brees, George Floyd, Kneeling, Malcolm Jenkins, national anthem, NFL, Now, Protests, Racism


Malcolm Jenkins/Instagram and 2 others
  1. Malcolm Jenkins/Instagram


  2. Yahoo Finance

    Drew Brees addresses NFL players kneeling in 2020: 'I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag'

  3. Black Lives Matter

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