Malcolm Jenkins: I'm lucky I don't play for Cowboys

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins criticized Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday for his team's policy requiring players to stand on the field for the national anthem.

"[Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie] has been very supportive of us since the beginning. I don't see Jeffrey as a bully like Jerry Jones is," Jenkins said. "Lucky for me I don't play for the Cowboys, nor would I want to. I think it's unfortunate you have owners like him that use his position to intimidate and intentionally thwart even the idea of his players thinking individually or having a voice about issues that affect their communities daily. It is unfortunate. For them hopefully you'll have guys challenge that, and they'll have my full support."

Jenkins' comments come two days after Jones said the Cowboys have a team policy requiring players to stand on the field during the anthem before games. Jones also said he wouldn't support players choosing to remain in the locker room during the anthem -- a key allowance under the rules NFL team owners approved in May.

"Our policy is that you stand at the anthem, toe on the line," Jones said.

Jenkins, co-founder of the Players Coalition, a group dedicated to addressing social inequality issues affecting players and their communities, has been a critic of the NFL's policy. In the wake of Jones' remarks, he called on team owners to be more vocal in expressing what they believe is right for the NFL.

"For [the owners], hopefully you'll have guys challenge that and they'll have my full support," Jenkins said. "The one thing, is when you have owners like Jerry Jones who speak so strongly and has drawn his line in the sand and has been very vocal about it and you've had other owners be very quiet. Well, Jerry Jones is now the voice of NFL ownership so unless you have other owners come out with some definitive statements in support, they're going to allow Jerry Jones to push the narrative for not only NFL owners but the NFL as a whole."

When asked specifically if Lurie should be among those who should speak out, Jenkins responded: "He's included in that. I think every owner has a voice, and will have to decide what they want to do. I think silence is compliance. If you don't speak on it, you allow it."

Last week, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to freeze implementation of the anthem policy team owners approved at the Spring League Meeting. The standstill agreement is expected to be in place for several weeks as discussions between the league and union continue.

NFL and NFLPA representatives met Friday to discuss the policy.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott shared his thoughts on the team's anthem policy with reporters Friday:

"I believe what I believe in. I never protest. I never protest during the anthem and I don't think it's the time or the venue to do so," Prescott said. "... For me, I'm all about making a change, making a difference and I think this whole kneeling and all that was all about raising awareness and I think we're still talking about social injustice years later ... we know there is social injustice. I'm ready to take the next step whatever that may be for action and not just kneeling."

Jenkins, who discussed his feelings about the protests during an interview with NBC Nightly News this week, has played a leading role among active NFL players in combating social inequality since Colin Kaepernick's decision to take a knee during a 2016 preseason game.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content