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Malcolm Jenkins: Protesting is the ‘most American thing you can do’ (vid)

Malcolm Jenkins recently conducted a provocative interview with Lester Holt that aired Wednesday’s edition of “NBC Nightly News.” In the piece, the Philadelphia Eagles safety weighed in on the national anthem protest controversy, player activism and how these issues relate to the modern NFL.

Jenkins bristled at the notion protesting is un-American during his interview with Holt.

“At the end of the day, protests and fighting back is the American way,” Jenkins said, via NJ.com. “That’s the most American thing you can do, use your voice.”

The anthem protest movement of course remains a controversial and polarizing issue in the NFL world. Team owners reportedly hope players will agree to stand for the anthem absent a formal directive. The league and the NFLPA currently are engaged in a dialogue over the recently shelved new anthem policy that was ratified by owners in May.

Jenkins was asked by Holt if the anthem controversy is “good for the game” of football.

“I mean, that’s not my concern. We can talk about social issues and still have a great game,” Jenkins said. “We talked about domestic violence for a whole year. We had commercials, we had things on the field. Nobody had an issue with that. We talk about breast cancer for a whole month every year, you wear pink on the field … no issues with that.

“We start talking about black issues and issues of race, now all of a sudden we just want football. We don’t want all that extra stuff, we just want to watch the game.”

Jenkins, among the most socially active players in the league, is a co-founder of the Players Coalition. He has spent much of the offseason participating in community outreach and became responsible for one of the most compelling and original locker room press conferences in some time.

When asked specifically about the future of anthem protests, Jenkins was unsure about the movement’s future.

“I think it’s starting to shift. I don’t think it’s as important,” Jenkins said. “The purpose of all the demonstrations was to create dialogue. It’s more about the work now.”