X

Chris Long Supports Malcolm Jenkins During Safety's National Anthem Protest

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 13: Chris Long #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field during mandatory minicamp at the NovaCare Complex on June 13, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

In a show of solidarity with his teammate, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long put his hand on the shoulder of Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins as Jenkins raised his first during the national anthem before Thursday's game against the Buffalo Bills

PennLive.com's Aaron Kasinitz shared the Associated Press photo of Long and Jenkins:

Aaron Kasinitz @AaronKazreports

Via @AP_Images, here's a look at Chris Long putting his arm around Malcolm Jenkins during the national anthem. #Eagles https://t.co/5Xd3Pzpan5

"I thought it was important that athletes with my skin color stood up with others protesting for racial equality," Long said after the game, per Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jenkins raised his fist during the national anthem last year as well, following in the footsteps of Colin Kaepernick, who sat or knelt during the anthem throughout the 2016 season to protest police brutality and social injustice.

Earlier in the month, Jenkins had expressed reservations about continuing the protest, questioning whether doing so would put the spotlight remained on the players rather than the causes to which they're trying to draw attention.

In a statement to ESPN.com's Tim McManus, Jenkins said he'd carry his protest into the 2017 season:

"Last season, I raised my 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. 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."

During an interview on Russillo & Kannell last September (h/t ESPN.com's Mike Reiss), Long said he was fully behind any teammates who chose to peacefully protest the national anthem.

"This is a wonderful country, and I think everyone agrees on that," he said. "But there are things in our country that can improve. I don't think that by acknowledging as a white male that America isn't the same for me, maybe, as it is for everybody, the same great place, that we're complicit in the problem or that we're saying America isn't a great place."

Long added he wouldn't consider kneeling for the anthem, as Kaepernick and others did last year.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.