To the naked eye, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and Panthers safety Eric Reid should be allies as both crusade against systemic oppression and racism.
Not so fast. Prior to kickoff, the two were involved in a confrontation during the coin toss resulting in Reid being pulled to the sideline by teammates.
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 21, 2018
While both speak out for similar causes, they have been in disagreement about the way NFL players should be allowed to use their voices. In the late part of 2017, Reid criticized Jenkins for speaking with the NFL on behalf of protesting players without those players’ knowledge and without speaking to said players directly.
Per SBNation, at the time, Jenkins offered the following response:
“They understood the entire scope of the plan. The last time we had conversations with (Roger) Goodell and Troy Vincent, Michael Thomas and Eric Reid were on that call. They understood the proposal. 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. We then talked about myself contracting Troy Vincent just to give them some updates on some of our feedback, which I did. That call did not have Mike or Eric on it. Everybody kind of agreed to that.”
As a result of his displeasure, Reid left the NFL Players Coalition of which Reid is one of the founding members. When addressing media for the first time following his signing with the Panthers, Reid referred to the Players Coalition as “an NFL-created subversion group”.
Following the Panthers comeback win over the Eagles on Sunday, Reid said that:
“Malcolm capitalized on the situation. He co-oped the movement that was started by Colin to get his organization funded. it’s cowardly. He sold us out.”
When asked what specifically started the pregame incident, Reid said that Jenkins approached him. Asked if he felt the confrontation would bring negative publicity to the movement, Reid reiterated that he “wants people to understand that the Players Coalition co-oped the message that was started by Colin.” Further, he referred to Jenkins as a “neo-colonialist”.
After being signed by the Panthers during Week 4, Reid has continued to protest racism, police brutality, and systemic oppression by kneeling during the national anthem. Jenkins does not kneel but is active in the community.
Flip the page for some of Reid’s thoughts.