Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, while speaking about the Players Coalition, took an apparent swipe at Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles while praising former San Francisco 49ers passer Colin Kaepernick.
The Eagles face the Jaguars on Sunday in London and are preparing to face Bortles, who will start the game despite being benched midway through last week's loss to the Houston Texans.
“We’ve always maintained, I’ve always maintained at every chance I get to say Colin Kaepernick can start at this,” Jenkins told reporters Wednesday at his locker. “(Carolina Panthers safety) Eric Reid deserves a job. Colin Kaepernick deserves a job. I can turn on the tape this week of our opponent and see that Colin Kaepernick deserves a job."
Jenkins later added that he “wholeheartedly” believes “that Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed.”
Bortles has thrown for just nine touchdowns this season while accounting for 11 turnovers. His 60.6 percent completion rate ranks 29th among all passers.
Kaepernick remains unsigned as he continues to pursue a collusion case against the NFL that claims team owners have purposefully denied his employment in the league due to his public stance on issues of social inequality. Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 but has been out of the league since 2017.
Jenkins and Reid sparred on the field last week in a 21-17 Eagles loss, when Reid called Jenkins a “sellout” for his management of the Players Coalition, an organization founded by current and former players to champion various causes in communities across the country. Jenkins declined to criticize Reid for his comments and for his decision to leave the Players Coalition.
Reid, similar to Kaepernick, was also out of the league for a significant amount of time before the Panthers signed him to a deal earlier this month. Reid had his own collusion case against the Bengals, which was denied Tuesday by an arbitrator.
On Wednesday, Jenkins went on to state the reasons why he co-founded the Players Coalition.
“When I started this in 2018 in my personal journey to help my own communities, it was never about the NFL, or anybody having a job in the NFL,” Jenkins said. “It was about people. Everyday citizens where I come from, where I live in here in Philly and all across this country, so at the end of the day, my decisions will always be about people.”
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.
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