Hyped Team-Wide Eagles Protest Sees Four Guys Raise a Fist

Steven Means, Malcolm Jenkins, Ron Brooks
The Associated Press

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins touted a dramatic, teamwide protest slated for Monday Night Football.

“Everyone wants to be a part of it,” he told radio station WIP, “and I feel like it’s no different on our team.”

Head coach Doug Pederson said sign him up.

“If it was teamwide, if they wanted to do something teamwide, I’d definitely be for that,” Pederson said this weekend. “I think it shows unity and there’s no division that way, and I think it sends a great message that from our standpoint, the National Football League and the platform and the individuals, we love this country and what it represents and the flag and the national anthem and everything.”

The team unity came during the game, when the Eagles rallied behind a rookie quarterback to grab a tough road win in Chicago. During the pregame, everyone stood for “The Star Spangled Banner.” A handful of guys—Jenkins, Ron Brooks, Steve Means, and, say some accounts, Marcus Smith—raised a clenched black-power fist during the song. In other words, a wha-wha-wha followed the stretched out drum roll.

It’s been that kind of week for the gridiron-gladiators-turned-social-justice-warriors. They recruited not a single new player to their sideline sit-down strike. Several players who knelt or sat before now stand. Just six guys—roughly one in every 300 players on team rosters—refused to rise for the song this week. And the public, having watched this movie before, yawns where they once offered jeers.

We used to boo. Now we’re bored.

Controversy sells. Boring? No so much.

Protesting the national anthem became a fashion. And destiny dictates that all fashions go out of style. The tastefakers following the tastemakers generally exile the trend to oblivion in embracing it in a suffocating bear hug of death (see the square in the Oval Office praising Colin Kaepernick). Such a fate forever awaits all incarnations of radical chic.