Eric Reid and Malcolm Jenkins turned the fight for racial and social justice into a skirmish on the field. Reid then went on offense with his postgame comments, calling the Eagles safety and co-founder of The Players Coalition “a sellout.”
Reid split from the coalition last year because Jenkins had excluded Colin Kaepernick from meetings, and asked players if they would stop protesting during the national anthem if the NFL made a charitable donation to causes they support.
Reid, who signed with the Panthers in September, said he believed he no longer had shared interests with the socially-active coalition and would continue on his own path with the unsigned Kaepernick, who was the first player to sit and then kneel during the anthem to protest racism and police brutality.
“We believe a lot of players should have stepped up for Colin,” Reid said Sunday after the Panthers beat the Eagles 21-17. “I believe Malcolm capitalized on the situation. He co-opted the movement that was started by Colin to get his organization funded. It’s cowardly. He sold us out.”
Jenkins took the high road when told in the Eagles’ locker room of the criticism.
“I’m not going to get up here and say anything negative about that man,” Jenkins said. “I respect him. I’m glad he has a job. I’m glad he’s back in the league. I’ll leave it like that.”
Reid, who was not supposed to be at midfield, and Jenkins jawed at each other shortly before kickoff.
Reid continued his tradition of taking a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” while none of his Carolina teammates joined him or stood near him at midfield. Reid is trying to call attention to social and racial injustice.
“It’s systematic oppression which is what I’m protesting and neocolonialism,” he said. “Man, it keeps happening.”
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