Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins will continue to raise his fist as a "sign of solidarity to support people, especially people of color, who were and are still unjustly losing their lives at the hands of officers with little to no consequence," he told ESPN's Tim McManus in a statement Thursday.
"After spending time with police officers on ride-alongs, meeting with politicians on the state and federal level and grass roots organizations fighting for human rights, it's clear that our criminal justice system is still crippling communities of color through mass incarceration," Jenkins says in the statement to McManus.
Jenkins started raising his fist during Week 2 last season was joined by several teammates throughout the year. This offseason he has been one of the players who has come to the support of Colin Kaepernick, most recently calling teams "cowards" for not signing the quarterback.
"As the blowback against those who stand up for what is right thickens, I feel it is necessary to push forward with a relentless determination. I want to send a message that we will not easily be moved or deterred from fighting for justice," Jenkins says in the statement to McManus. "There are many players across the league who have joined me in working toward new legislation and reestablishing trust and opportunities in our communities, and you can expect to see much more of that. I want to thank the fans across the country who have supported me in this effort to fight for equality and justice. I want to thank those that have dedicated their lives to this fight, as I know that it is not easy. And I want to challenge those who stay silent to be courageous and use your platforms to become part of the solution. God Bless."
Jenkins also mentioned that there have not been strong enough legislative efforts to change how communities of color are disproportionately affected in the "war on crime and drugs" and that "real reform" must become a priority.
Jenkins is going into his ninth season in the league. He spent five years with the New Orleans Saints before joining Philadelphia in 2014.