Division among protest leaders


Division among protest leaders
November 01
01:00 2018

Eric Reid of the Carolina Panthers recently called out Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins when the two teams faced off last Sunday. Reid called Jenkins a “sellout” in a post game interview.

Following the coin toss before the game, Reid approached Jenkins on the field and the two players seemed to exchange words. Reid was eventually restrained by a teammate. Reid is playing in just his third game after going unsigned in the off-season, despite being one of the best available players on the market.

“We believe a lot of players should have stepped up for Colin,” Reid told reporters after the game, referring to his belief that the players agreement was not a success because it did not include a promise to bring Kaepernick back to the league.  “I believe Malcolm captitalized 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.”

Reid and Jenkins have not been on the same page since November of 2017. That was when Reid left the Players Coalition, led by Jenkins and others, because he felt Jenkins was taking the players down the wrong path by accepting an offer from the NFL owners that would effectively end their on-field protests.

I guess the tipping point for Reid came when Jenkins decided not to raise his fist during the national anthem, as he did all of last season. Jenkins briefly raised his fist during preseason games, but opted not to once the regular season began, which shows Reid may have a point in his distain for Jenkins.

Reid joined Keapernick in his protest in 2016 when both were teammates with the San Francisco 49ers. One can see the frustration of Reid looking at the optics of the situation. From the outside looking in, it seems as though Jenkins stopped raising his fist after the Players Coalition received the $90 million pledge from the owners for their various causes.

When the quotes from Reid were presented to Jenkins following the game, he decided to take the high road. He attempted to avoid turning the situation into a vocal back and forth with Reid.

“I’m not going to get up here and say anything negative about that man,” Jenkins said of Reid. “I respect him.  I’m glad he has a job. I’m glad he’s back in the league and I’ll leave it like that.”

I appreciate Jenkins for not taking the bait and responding to Reid in a negative manner. All too often, when situations like this occur between players, there is a public war of words. For this cause it was better suited that it did not happen that way.

For me, Reid was wrong for airing out his grievances with Jenkins through the media. It would have been better for the two men to sit down face to face to address any disagreements or misconceptions they may have.

Both players are fighting for the same cause, bringing more awareness to the social injustices plaguing minorities across this country. It serves no purpose in two of the leading figures in the cause to have a public disagreement, which shows there may be a split that someone can exploit. Divide and conquer is a tried and true method of destroying any movement.

Hopefully, these two men can meet face to face and come to some sort of common ground. They both have valid points, but Reid cannot continue to air their dirty laundry for the world to see. If they both wish to achieve the goals they initially set out for, then they must be able to do it together, because that’s when they are strongest.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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