Roger Goodell’s about-face on peaceful player protest on Friday drew widespread applause.
But to many, it fell short of the NFL’s responsibility in righting the wrongs of its policy condemning players who protest social injustice and police brutality during the national anthem.
Count Malcolm Jenkins among them. The outspoken New Orleans Saints safety and founding member of the Players Coalition joined a chorus of NFL and political voices on Tuesday calling for more from the NFL.
Those voices specifically call on the NFL to acknowledge Colin Kaepernick, whom Goodell did not mention in his statement announcing that the NFL was “wrong” in condemning player protests.
‘I still don’t think they’ve gotten it right’
“I still don't think they’ve gotten it right,” Jenkins told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday. “Until they apologize specifically to Colin Kaepernick or assign him to a team, I don't think that they will end up on the right side of history.
“At the end of the day, they've listened to their players, they've donated money, they've created an Inspire Change platform. They've tried to do things up to this point. But it's been one player in particular that they have ignored and have not acknowledged, and that's Colin Kaepernick.”
Jenkins declined to speculate on whether Kaepernick will end up in the NFL again. But if the NFL doesn’t address his status as a player, Jenkins thinks the rest of the NFL’s stance is just noise.
"That's the only thing that people want to hear," Jenkins continued. “If it's not going to correct that or acknowledge that, then everything else doesn't need to be said.”
Jenkins’ thoughts on Kaepernick also align with those of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Rev. Al Sharpton, who called on the NFL to give Kaepernick a job while delivering Floyd’s eulogy at his Houston funeral on Tuesday.
Jenkins has been vocal in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in custody of the Minneapolis police. Last week, he criticized teammate Drew Brees after the Saints quarterback described protestors as “disrespecting the flag.”
“We’re done asking, Drew,” Jenkins said in a social media video. “People who share your sentiments, who express those and push them throughout the world, the airwaves — are the problem. And it’s unfortunate, because I considered you a friend.”
Jenkins talks defunding police
On Tuesday he also addressed the movement to defund police that’s surfaced amid the nationwide George Floyd protests, explaining that it’s not a call to eliminate police departments while citing numbers provided by the ACLU.
“It doesn’t mean we eradicate police completely,” Jenkins said. “We’ve got 10 million kids going to schools with police officers in them and no social workers. Three million that have got police in their schools and no nurses. Six million with police in their schools but no psychologists. Yet we want to invest in putting more police on the streets and over-policing that we know does not make our communities safer.
“We’d rather see that money go to programs that help with entrepreneurship, that help with our schooling, that help with black people who have been disproportionately affected by COVID.”
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