The Radicalization of the NFL

The Radicalization of the NFL
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

When malcolm jenkins heard about Donald Trump’s tweets condemning National Football League players for kneeling during the national anthem, he was unruffled. Jenkins is a man of convictions and bespoke suits. At 30, he is one of the top defensive players in the NFL. He has the versatility to play multiple positions, shows catlike quickness down the field, and is strong enough to knock ballcarriers off their routes. As a captain of the Philadelphia Eagles, he recently helped lead his team to a Super Bowl title. And as a co-founder of the Players Coalition—an organization that fights injustices disproportionately affecting African Americans—he can cite police-shooting statistics and discuss the finer points of Pennsylvania’s proposed Clean Slate legislation, which would seal criminal records for people charged with minor offenses. So when the president wrote a series of tweets calling for protesting NFL players to be fired, Jenkins just shrugged. “It was like any other troll,” he told me.


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