Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins called out NFL owners for their refusal to sign Colin Kaepernick over concerns about public backlash.
Over the past week, the Baltimore Ravens made headlines when they said they would consider signing Kaepernick in light of quarterback Joe Flacco’s recent back injury. However, Ravens owner, Steve Biscotti, said the team was seeking opinions from fans and sponsors.
“This is just some other teams being, quite honestly, cowards, to say that they’re afraid of backlash to sign someone to make their team better, when fans’ input has never been in the equation when it comes to signing people in the past,” Jenkins told delawareonline.com Thursday.
“It’s certain owners’ way of making an example out of [Kaepernick] to discourage anybody else from doing what he did.”
Kaepernick sat and later kneeled in protest of the national anthem to bring awareness to social injustice. He drew support from players around the league, including Jenkins who choose to raise his fist in the air for all but one game last season.
Since opting out of his contract with the 49ers back in March, Kaepernick has yet to sign with another team.
“Four months ago, there was a debate as to whether [Kaepernick] is talented enough or whatever,” Jenkins said. “I think at this point in time, when you look at the quarterbacks who have jobs around the league, and the amount of owners and GMs who have only spoken of what fans would think about his stance. I think it’s safe to throw out that talent argument, and basically focus on the fact that he doesn’t have a job solely because he didn’t stand for the anthem last year, even though he already expressed that he planned on standing this year.
“That message, to me, is loud and clear from owners as to where their priorities stand and how they go about picking and choosing who they want on their teams. It’s definitely unfortunate, but it’s shining a light on just how the NFL operates and what we deem is acceptable. It really has nothing to do with what’s right or wrong, but what affects dollars. That’s business as usual, but I think it’s an unfortunate precedent to set.”