Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive end Steven Means, cornerback Ron Brooks, and defensive end Marcus Smith united to protest by raising their fists in the air during the national anthem prior to the team’s Monday Night Football matchup against the Bears in Chicago.
Only Jenkins, Means, and Doug Flutie Jersey Brooks were shown raising their fists on television. Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Smith also joined the protest.
These players follow the example set by Colin Kaepernick beginning during the preseason. As each week passes, more NFL players join in the protests, which are intended to increase awareness of social injustice, particularly oppression of black Americans.
Pederson also said he just didn’t Drew Kaser Jersey want the protest to become a distraction for the team, but with protests mounting around the NFL, he doesn’t feel that’s been the case so far.
“I really don’t think it has been a distraction for teams,” Pederson said. “I know early on, when Colin (Kaepernick) did his thing, it might’ve been because of the shock and awe of what happened, but I think now that everyone has sort of embraced it and knows it’s going to happen, I think everybody is braced for it, so it won’t be a distraction.”
As player protests of the national anthem continue, so do the conversations about social injustice in the United States.
“During the team’s June 6, 2016 Organized Team Activity (OTA) day, players engaged in excessive on-field physical contact, which is expressly prohibited in all offseason workouts under the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement,” the league announced in a press release. “The prohibition is one of several measures the NFL and NFLPA implemented to enhance player safety by limiting contact during offseason workout programs. The rules also help to prevent any team from gaining a competitive advantage.”
Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are well aware of the strict guidelines of OTA practices as the team was punished for the same violation in 2014.
The NFL announced Seattle will be docked a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and the team won’t be able to use the first week of OTAs in 2017. In addition, the Seahawks received a $400,000 fine and Carroll received a $200,000 fine.
That’s a much harsher penalty for the Seahawks than the $300,000 fine the team received for the same violation in 2014. Seattle was already without a fourth-round pick in 2017 after trading it to the New England Patriots during the 2016 NFL Draft.