Players divided over NFL's plan to donate millions to social justice groups

01 December, 2017, 06:40 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Eric Reid x Colin Kaepernick

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins may be putting an end to his national enthem protests.

Jenkins said he will continue to draw awareness and 'raise up the grassroots organizations that need support to do the work'. Earlier this year, the NFL's commissioner and the owners said they want all of the players to stand for the anthem.

Michael Thomas
Sports Imagery Getty Images

The agreement calls for national funds to be allocated accordingly: 25 percent to the United Negro College Fund; 25 percent to Dream Corps; and 50 percent to the Players Coalition, which has filed 501 (c)(3) and 501 (c)(4) paperwork for nonprofit status as a fiscally sponsored project.

"We have an opportunity to be pioneers in this space", Jenkins said. "And obviously through this year and talking with the league and what they've kind of proposed, I feel like he has presented a bigger and better platform to continue to raise that awareness and continue to fluctuate positive change".

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Reid, who was the first player to join Colin Kaepernick in his protest in 2016, spoke to the media about his decision on Tuesday.

Reid, once he heard the NFL's plan to siphon money from other causes toward the new one, scoffed at Jenkins' proposal to quit the protest. The defections of Reid and Thomas from the group of players dealing with the league on the player-activism agreement appear to greatly reduce or eliminate the chances that the agreement will end the players' protests entirely.

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Reid, who knelt beside Colin Kaepernick last season, additionally told ESPN: "Malcolm continues to have conversations on his own with the National Football League, and the Players Coalition is his organization".

Players have stated that they've been protesting police brutality and other facets of in the criminal justice system they believe unfairly treats people of color. It's a hard to decision to stop protesting, Jenkins said, but he added that the NFL's willingness to promote social justice work is gratifying. If they accept the league's proposal, then the owners would vote to complete the deal at the annual league meetings in March, according to ESPN.

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"There are things guys have been working on and talking with the league about how we can amplify the voices of the players to draw attention to the injustices and issues of equality that we're trying to highlight - help us with solutions and try to make our communities better", Jenkins said following the Eagles' win over the Panthers on October 12. Not only with the money that they've put up, because I think that's probably the least important part of the deal, but with the resources and platform that they proposed to build. What we didn't have was a conversation with players in the coalition based on some of the responses that we got from the league.


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