Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins calls Jerry Jones a bully, says other owners need to speak out

Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones and his son, Stephen, the team CEO, either didn’t get the memo that they’re supposed to play nice when it comes to discussing the national anthem and hitting pause on the implementation of the rule owners came up with in May, or they did get the memo and don’t care.

Jerry Jones said on Wednesday that Cowboys players will stand for the anthem, “toe on the line,” and a day later Stephen implied that players who did not follow that directive would be cut.

It hasn’t been sitting well with many players and fans, and the de-facto spokesman for the Players’ Coalition, Eagles’ safety Malcolm Jenkins, had plenty to say about it on Friday.

Jerry Jones is ‘a bully’

Jenkins, who did an interview with NBC Nightly News that aired earlier this week, was unsparing in his opinions on a variety of matters, including Jerry Jones and the rest of the NFL’s franchise owners.

Asked about recent conversations he’s had with Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie and Jones’ comments, Jenkins said, “Jeffrey’s been very supportive of us from the beginning. I don’t see Jeffrey as a bully like Jerry Jones is. Lucky for me, I don’t play for the Cowboys, nor would I want to.

“It’s unfortunate that you have owners like him that use his position to intimidate and intentionally thwart even the idea of his players thinking individually or having a voice about issue that effect their communities daily. It’s unfortunate.”

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Malcolm Jenkins through his career
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 25: Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) celebrates after the Eagles recovered a fumble in the second half during the game between the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles on December 25, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, 0H - SEPTEMBER 16: Malcolm Jenkins #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes gets ready to move at the snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats on September 16, 2006 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo By Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - OCTOBER 27: Wide receiver Ray Small #4, cornerback Malcolm Jenkins #2, and wide receiver Brian Hartline #9 of the Ohio State Buckeyes sing their alma mater after the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium on October 27, 2007 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Ohio State won 37-17. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - 2009: Malcolm Jenkins of the New Orleans Saints poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by NFL Photos)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 31: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates a play during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Louisiana Superdome on October 31, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Matthew Sharpe/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 2: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the New Orleans Saints warms up before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 23-13. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 03: NFL player Malcolm Jenkins of the New Orleans Saints attends Super Bowl Gospel Celebration 2012 at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University on February 3, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Super Bowl)
26 July 2014: Malcolm Jenkins (27) Eagles Defensive Back takes to the field during the Philadelphia Eagles training camp at NovaCare Training Complex in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 13: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles encourages the crowd to get loud against the Buffalo Bills on December 13, 2015 at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 06: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles exits the field after the game between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium on December 6, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: NFL player Malcolm Jenkins (R) and Morrisa Jenkins attend the Sports Illustrated Experience Friday Night Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 09: Ron Brooks #33 of the Philadelphia Eagles and Malcolm Jenkins #27 raise their fists during the National Anthem prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 9, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles holds up his fist during the national anthem prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 28: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles smiles while warming up before taking on the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on November 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 02: Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins visits the SiriusXM set at Super Bowl 51 Radio Row at the George R. Brown Convention Center on February 2, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on November 19, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21: Corey Graham #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles is congratulated by his teammate Malcolm Jenkins #27 after getting an interception during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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As noted by Calvin Watkins of The Athletic Dallas, Jones did comment about the racial disparity in prison populations and agrees with players’ concerns over police brutality. But he is unbending when it comes to standing for the anthem, which teams weren’t even on the field for a decade ago, aka before the Department of Defense began it since-abandoned program of paying teams for patriotic displays.

Jenkins called on other owners, including Lurie, to challenge Jones.

“The one thing, is when you have owners like Jerry Jones who speak so strongly and has drawn his line in the sand and has been very vocal about it and you’ve had other owners be very quiet, well Jerry Jones is now the voice of of NFL ownership so unless you have other owners come out with some definitive statements in support, they’re going to allow Jerry Jones to push the narrative for not only NFL owners but the NFL as a whole,” Jenkins said.

Lurie is “included in that. Every owner has a voice, and will have to decide what they want to do. Silence is compliance. If you don’t speak on it, you allow it.”

‘They’ve been right along with us’

Jenkins is bothered that some, including Jones, continue to frame it as an “anthem protest” when it has never been about protesting the song or, especially, military members, because some owners and team officials have been part of the work that players are doing and in meetings with players.

But President Donald Trump continues to hammer the issue, and some owners keep trying to appease him.
 
“They’re afraid of our president I think they’re afraid of half of our fan base so they try to appease both sides and they end up not satisfying anybody,” Jenkins said. “(Owners) know more than anybody that it’s not about the flag, it’s not about the anthem. They’ve been right along with us. They met with police along with us, we invited them to our events, they’ve seen our meetings with community activists.
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