Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins returns to standing along sideline for 2018 season opener's national anthem

Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins returns to standing along sideline for 2018 season opener's national anthem

As Thursday night gave way to regular-season football at Lincoln Financial Field, Malcolm Jenkins stood along the sideline for the national anthem after staying in the tunnel for the final three weeks of the preseason.

The Eagles' safety had put a pause to his silent protest toward the end of last season but resumed his demonstration during the team's preseason opener when he raised his fist standing along the sideline.

This was in light of the NFL implementing a new policy this offseason, requiring players to either stand or remain inside during the anthem. However, the disciplinary actions for the policy are currently on hold.

"Me personally, I really want to get this conversation to move away from the anthem,” Jenkins said in an article published Wednesday by the Washington Post. “I think it has served its purpose.”

Jenkins is one of the NFL's most socially active players. He started raising his fist during the 2016 season in protest of police brutality and racial and social injustice in the United States.

"I think it’s important that we continue to keep this conversation going, that we don’t let it get stagnant," Jenkins said after this year's preseason opener Aug. 9. "As we understand it, everyone is kind of waiting to see what the league is going to do. That doesn’t mean that we stop what we’ve been standing up for."

Defensive end Michael Bennett, who had been waiting out the national anthem before the exhibition games, was seen walking around during Thursday night's rendition and at one point sat down to tie his shoe.

The Eagles-Falcons season opener was delayed because of inclement weather, pushing back the Super Bowl LII banner ceremony and kickoff to the 2018 campaign.

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Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins waits in tunnel during national anthem for 3rd straight week

Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins waits in tunnel during national anthem for 3rd straight week

For the third straight week, Malcolm Jenkins on Thursday night waited in the tunnel during the playing of the national anthem.


(NBC Sports Philadelphia)

The Eagles’ safety has halted his demonstrations during the national anthem for the time being, but has chosen to not stand on the field. Jenkins had been protesting racial and social inequality and police brutality in the United States. 

Jenkins last raised his fist during the preseason opener on Aug. 9. 

Jenkins began raising his fist during the anthem as a silent protest back in 2016, but stopped late last season after he was encouraged by the NFL’s actions. 

But this offseason, the NFL instituted an anthem policy, stating players must either stand respectfully or wait inside. For now, penalties for demonstrations are on hold as the NFL and NFLPA have discussions. 

Michael Bennett, who had been waiting out the national anthem the last few weeks, wasn’t seen during the anthem, nor on the sideline at the start of the game. 

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Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins, Michael Bennett stick with their national anthem decision

Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins, Michael Bennett stick with their national anthem decision

For the second straight preseason game, Malcolm Jenkins stayed in the tunnel during the national anthem, while Michael Bennett remained in the locker room.

After putting a pause on his silent protest toward the end of last season, Jenkins resumed his national anthem demonstration for the Eagles' preseason opener Aug. 9 at Lincoln Financial Field when he raised his fist standing along the sideline.

In Game 2 of the preseason last Thursday on the road against the Patriots, Jenkins chose to stay in the tunnel, a decision he made again Thursday night before the Eagles' game vs. the Browns in Cleveland.


(Jerry Hines/NBC Sports Philadelphia)


(Jerry Hines/NBC Sports Philadelphia)

Jenkins, one of the NFL's most socially active players, began raising his fist during the 2016 season in protest of police brutality and racial and social injustice in the United States.

This offseason, the NFL passed a policy requiring players to either stand or remain inside during the anthem. The disciplinary actions for the policy are currently on hold.

"I think it was just a culmination of how the offseason went and where we are now,” Jenkins said of resuming his protest before the 2018 preseason opener. "I think it’s important that we continue to keep this conversation going, that we don’t let it get stagnant. As we understand it, everyone is kind of waiting to see what the league is going to do. That doesn’t mean that we stop what we’ve been standing up for. That’s just my personal decision to make sure that we keep these things in the forefront."

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