Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Full Transcription Of The Philadelphia Eagles Football Player Malcolm Jenkins "The Fight Continues" Tweet About The Team Being Disinvited To A Planned White House Recption (June 5, 2018)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides a transcription of Malcolm Jenkins' tweet that was written after President Trump disinvited the Philadelfphia Eagles football team to a planned White House reception to celebrate that team winning last season's Super Bowl.

I transcribed this tweet because I couldn't find it in any other format besides twitter, because I consider this composition to be of historical importance, and because I consider it to be of high quality as a written and (potentially) spoken word composition.

The Addendum to this post contains information about Malcolm Jenkins and some background to this tweet.

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Malcolm Jenkins and thanks to all others who work to make this world a better place.


Malcolm Jenkins

Verified account

June 5, 2018

It’s hard to step out in the public and fight to make it better.

It’s hard to meet with people who don’t agree with you and to have tough conversations about uncomfortable race-related issues and how to make positive change.

It takes empathy and time to listen to other’s experiences that may be different than your own.

It takes courage to stand up for the TRUTH even if it’s not a popular one.

This is what my colleagues and I have been facing for the past two years.

Players have met with police departments, elected officials and community advocates around the country.

Chris Long played for free last year and donated his entire salary to charity.

We’ve fed the hungry, we’ve mentored our youth, we’ve fought to create opportunities for communities and individuals who have been disenfranchised, we’ve given scholarships, and the list goes on.

We’ve done all this while still climbing to win the highest esteem in our profession. We are athletes, but as citizens, we are doing everything in our power to make our communities better. This is the hard, but, right thing to do.

It’s not our job. No one elected us to do this. We do it because we love this country and our communities. Everyone, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, deserves to be treated equally. We are fighting for racial and social equality.

Simply google: “How many Philadelphia Eagles knelt during the national anthem last season?” and you will find the answer is zero. A similar google search will show you how many great things the players on this team are doing and continue to do on a daily basis."

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"Malcolm Jenkins (born December 20, 1987) is an American football safety for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football as a cornerback for Ohio State University, earning consensus All-American honors, and winning the Jim Thorpe Award as a senior. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.


National anthem protest
On September 19, 2016, Jenkins began raising his fist during the national anthem to bring attention to racial inequality and continued to do it every week throughout 2016 and 2017. He said he would not stop protesting during the national anthem even if the NFL or his team's owner prohibited players from doing so.[71] Jenkins has met on Capitol Hill with legislators, written an opinion-editorial in The Washington Post and signed a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell explaining his perspective on the issues.[72].
Malcolm Jenkins is African American.

Excerpt #1:
From Eagles respond after President Trump cancels White House visit, Eagles respond after President Trump cancels White House visit
"PHILADELPHIA -- Digging deeper into a culture war that he's repeatedly stoked, President Donald Trump called off a visit to the White House by the Philadelphia Eagles, citing the dispute over whether NFL players protesting racial injustice must stand during the playing of the national anthem.

In a new statement issued Tuesday afternoon chronicling a timeline of events that resulted in the cancellation of the Philadelphia Eagles' visit with President Donald Trump, the White House accuses the team of abandoning their fans.

Trump said in a statement Monday that some members of the Super Bowl championship team "disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country."

He said the team wanted to send a smaller delegation Tuesday, but "the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better."

Instead, Trump said he would be hosting "a different type of ceremony," featuring the U.S. Marine Band and the U.S. Army Chorus, that "will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem."

None of the Eagles took a knee during the anthem in 2017."....

Excerpt #2
From Donald Trump’s Fight With NFL Players Has Never Been About The National Anthem

The president isn’t mad about a song. He’s angry that black players refuse to show the fealty he thinks he deserves.

By Travis Waldron, 06/05/2018 03:21 pm ET
"President Donald Trump wants the world to believe his decision to cancel a White House visit from the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles was about the team’s ― and the NFL’s ― supposed refusal to stand for the national anthem. Trump abruptly canceled the visit, which was scheduled for Tuesday, via a White House statement on Monday evening, before returning to his favorite medium to drive home his point.


But while the Trump tweet was more red meat for his base, it was also a useful reminder that his fight with NFL players ― from the Eagles, or any other team ― has never been about the national anthem or the kneeling itself, no matter his insistence to the contrary.

Only one Eagles player kneeled during the anthem in 2017, before a preseason game in August. That player was cut before the season began, and not a single Philadelphia Eagle kneeled during the anthem through the entirety of the regular season. The Eagles players who protested at all during the anthem stopped once the Players Coalition, of which Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was a vocal leader, reached an agreement with the NFL in November. No member of the Eagles or any other team protested during the anthem throughout the NFL playoffs this winter. Before the NFL revived the issue with its new policy in May, in fact, it seemed likely that the protests that had taken place over the past two seasons would not have occurred this fall.

So the fact that fewer than 10 of Philadelphia’s 53 players planned to make the trip to Washington was rooted in substantive opposition to the president’s policies, words and actions. As much as Trump would like the dispute to be a culture war skirmish about the anthem and the ungrateful athletes who won’t stand for it, the Eagles players’ renunciation was about his presidency ― and their lack of belief that anything positive could come from a glorified “photo op".


Aside from one weekend of symbolic but ultimately toothless protests driven by those same scared NFL owners ― some of whom appeared next to players in a cynical show of “solidarity” against the president’s targeting of their business ― little of the sports world’s opposition to Trump, in fact, has been centered on the anthem. And hardly any of his own actions have actually concerned the song, either. Trump’s fight with the sports figures who have criticized him ― the majority of whom are black ― is not about what takes place during 100 seconds of music, but about power and fealty, and his belief that NFL players and other black athletes are displaying too much of one and not enough of the other."...

Excerpt #3:
From Trump's 'celebration of America' in lieu of cancelled Eagles gala fails to shine

Hastily arranged White House event lasts barely 10 minutes – and Trump has difficulty remembering words to God Bless America

Ben Jacobs and David Smith in Washington and Martin Pengelly in New York; Tue 5 Jun 2018 17.19 EDT
"Donald Trump’s “celebration of America” at the White House, hastily put together on Tuesday in the absence of Super Bowl winners the Philadelphia Eagles, proved that rare thing in the Trump era: an anticlimax.

...He did not mention the Eagles or attempt to heal divisions.

The event on the south lawn had been intended to follow the tradition of US presidents welcoming the national football champions to the White House. But on Monday night Trump disinvited the Eagles after learning that fewer than 10 players planned to attend, reopening his feud with American athletes over protests during the national anthem.

Instead, a “celebration of America” for Eagles fans was promised. Four US national flags hung on the south portico and 18 more curved around the south lawn. A few hundred people gathered, many waving stars and stripes, but there were more suits and ties than Eagles shirts or caps on display.

“This is a beautiful, big celebration,” claimed Trump, notorious for his obsession with size, at the end of remarks that lasted only four minutes. “Actually, to be honest, it’s even bigger than we had anticipated.”

With that, the US marine band and the US army chorus, their helmets and tunic buttons gleaming in the summer sun, played God Bless America. Trump sang some of the words but his lips were sealed for trickier lines, suggesting that his knowledge of Irving Berlin’s patriotic song is somewhat sketchy.

He then departed and the crowd began to disperse, showing little interest in the band music that moved on to hits by the Four Seasons and others.

Earlier, during the national anthem, one man in the crowd had taken the knee in protest, emulating Colin Kaepernick and other football players, though no Eagles made the gesture last season. There was also a shout of “Eagles” and some heckling at the start of Trump’s speech, eliciting boos from the crowd."...
This excerpt gives more detail about that replacement event than the article that was previously featured in this blog post: Trump’s “Celebration of America” Features His Unfamiliarity With “God Bless America”

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  1. In part because I just published this blog post on the phrase "pick up your step" in military cadences*, I was struck by Malcolm Jenkins' use of the term "step out [in public]" in his tweet- "It’s hard to step out in the public and fight to make it better."

    In my opinion, in the context of that tweet, "step out" means to single oneself out from other people by doing or saying something that opens you to often adverse attention. In that sense, to "step out" presents a similar or the same picture as a person "stepping forward" from a line of people on stage.

    In that same June 5, 2018 tweet that is showcased in this post, Malcolm Jenkins wrote "It takes courage to stand up for the TRUTH even if it’s not a popular one."

    In the context of this tweet, I believe that "Stand up" ("taking a stand for some cause") and "step out" have a very similar or the same meaning.

    * The Meaning/s Of The Military Cadence Phrase "Pick Up The Step" & Some Examples Of Military Cadences That Include That Phrase

    1. As an aside, I've noticed that the saying "Stand up!" is used a lot in YouTube discussion threads from West Africa in particular.

      In that context, I think "Stand up! has the same or similar meaning/s as "Represent!" does in African American Vernacular English, i.e. "Stand Up!" means "to publicly positively represent one's nation or group /ethnic group/and take a stand for (in defense of) one's nation/ethnic group."

  2. Here's a link to a closely related article:
    Briefing Ends In Heated Exchange Between April Ryan And The White House
    By Kate Riga | June 5, 2018 3:19 pm

    Here's an excerpt of this article:
    In an intense back-and-forth between White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan at Tuesday’s press briefing, Ryan repeatedly shouted questions about the NFL and police brutality until Sanders was forced to answer.

    “Is the President aware that this is about police-involved shootings and not disrespecting the flag?” Ryan asked about football players kneeling, despite Sanders’ attempt to call on another reporter.

    When Ryan had captured Sanders’ attention, she asked her full question. “There are black and brown soldiers that fight in the military as well who feel that taking a knee, bringing an attention to police-involved shootings, is something that this White House should deal with,” she said. “Is the President aware that taking the knee is about police-involved shootings?”

    ...the press secretary [Sarah Sanders]... went on to say that standing for the national anthem makes America “special and unique” and that the President is not going to “back down” on that stance."
    A video of this exchange is included in that article.