Last year, the Players Coalition came to an agreement with the NFL for team owners to donate money to the group, a move some saw as a potential quid pro quo, meaning the owners would donate money if players stopped kneeling in protest of systemic inequality during the national anthem.
Philadelphia’s Malcolm Jenkins is the de facto face of the Coalition.
Apparently, there isn’t much of a relationship between Jenkins and Reid.
Reid has to be dragged off field
According to tweets from reporters at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Reid stood near where the Eagles ran onto the field before the game and “stared someone down”, presumably Jenkins. Panthers defensive backs coach Richard Rodgers pushed Reid back a bit to try to diffuse anything.
Reid had major concerns with Malcolm Jenkins' Players Coalition that raised nearly $100 million to causes considered important to African-American communities. pic.twitter.com/qBsfDr4yLi
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 21, 2018
After the anthem, the captains from each team gathered at midfield for the coin toss, and Reid had to be pulled away by teammates after pacing and staring down the Eagles’ captains. Reid and Jenkins exchanged words.
There’s a clip of the exchange here, via the Charlotte Observer’s Marcel Louis-Jacques.
Here’s what Jenkins, Reid said after the game
Jenkins said Reid called him a coward and a sellout, though Jenkins didn’t want to publicly say anything negative about Reid to reporters after the game. Asked about his reaction to Reid’s words, Jenkins said, “I’m not going to get up here and say anything negative about that man. I respect him, I’m glad he has a job, I’m glad he’s back in the league.”
Eric Reid called Malcolm Jenkins a coward and a sellout
Malcolm Jenkins responds pic.twitter.com/07yXUaSO6C
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 21, 2018
Reid said, “We believe a lot of players should have stepped up for Colin. I believe Malcolm capitalized on the situation, he co-opted the movement that was started by Colin, to get his organization funded. It’s cowardly. He sold us out.”
Eric Reid says Malcolm Jenkins "sold us out”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 21, 2018
Reporter lands himself in hot water
Jimmy Kempski, who covers the Eagles for the Philly Voice, has landed himself in hot water for a now-deleted tweet he posted of Reid during the game:
This is Jim Crow imagery in 2018. It’s disgusting. pic.twitter.com/cxu96Acird
— Master (@MasterTes) October 21, 2018
The images of black people with bug eyes and crazy hair and red lips is an old but not-yet-gone trope that were popular during the 1930s and 40s Jim Crow era (you can read and see more here via the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University).
Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion showed Reid the image in the locker room after the game – Kempski initially tweeted it at 1:46 p.m. ET – and Reid said, “This is exactly what I’m talking about. I expect nothing less from a racist.”
Kempski tweeted to Tesfatsion that it was “a regrettable, but honest, mistake.” Though he has deleted the tweet, he has not tweeted anything further to acknowledge what he called a mistake.
‘NFL-funded subversion group’
Earlier this month, after being signed by Carolina, Reid met with reporters and was peppered with questions about his advocacy and protest.
Asked why he left the Coalition, Reid offered a sharp response:
“The Players Coalition is an NFL-funded subversion group, so that’s why I removed myself from them. I’ll keep moving forward with Colin [Kaepernick],” Reid said.
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