'You aren't listening': Philadelphia Eagles player greeted press with signs and silence.

After the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles were uninvited from their scheduled visit to the White House in early June 2018, star safety Malcolm Jenkins decided to try something different when asked by the media about player protests.

He greeted them with silence — instead answering questions with a series of signs.


"YOU AREN'T LISTENING," he wrote in all caps. And to be fair, there's good reason to believe they aren't.

Nearly two years after Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest police brutality, some people still don't get the message, wrongly believing that the gesture was intended as a show of disrespect toward the national anthem, the flag, the military, the police, or some combination thereof.

For almost a year now, President Donald Trump has been railing against the league and players who have dared to participate in protests under this false pretense.

It's no wonder that Jenkins — who devotes his free time to visiting prisons, working to improve police-community engagement, and speaking with lawmakers about racial injustice — is sick of having to answer basic questions of what these protests are all about.

Rodney McLeod, Malcolm Jenkins, and Chris Long stand during the national anthem at an October 2017 game. No member of the team kneeled in protest during the 2017 season. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images.

With poster board and a marker, Jenkins got his message out, focusing on the issues.

"More than 60% of people in prison are people of color," read one of his signs. "Nearly 200,000 juveniles enter the adult criminal system each year, most for non-violent crimes. #StopSchoolPipelineToPrison," read another.

Image from Malcolm Jenkins/Twitter.

On other cards, he played up the off-field work he, his teammates, and friends do to support their causes: the million dollars Kaepernick has given to charity, Chris Long's massive donation to education, and Ben Watson's and Demario Davis' work for voting rights with Louisiana House Bill 265.

Image from Malcolm Jenkins/Twitter.

There's a lot of injustice in the world, and Jenkins is using his platform to try to help. His attitude should be one to emulate, not scorn.

The day of the scheduled White House visit, Jenkins outlined some of his frustrations with the media's tendency to frame NFL players as "anti-America, anti-flag and anti-military."

"It takes empathy and time to listen to others' experiences that may be different than your own," he wrote. "It takes courage to stand up for the TRUTH even if it's not a popular one."

He's putting in the work to try to help people who don't have it so easy. He's using his voice (or, in this case, his marker) to lift up the concerns of people society often ignores. He's doing the work we'd all be proud to see our family, neighbors, and elected officials doing.

So why is Jenkins being slammed as ungrateful and spoiled?

Maybe he's right: People aren't listening. It's time they started. We could all learn a lot from his example.

Most Shared

Image by Brent Connelly from Pixabay and sixthformpoet / Twitter

Twitter user Matt, who goes by the name @SixthFormPoet, shared a dark love story on Twitter that's been read by nearly 600,000 people. It starts in a graveyard and feels like it could be the premise for a Tim Burton film.

While it's hard to verify whether the story is true, Matt insists that it's real, so we'll believe him.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

"Clay's tallest story" is one we should all stop to listen to, no matter how much we think we know about mental health. What starts off as a forgettable fishing video quickly turns into a powerful metaphor about mental health.

What would you do if an unexpected gust of wind pushed your boat out to sea? You'd call for help. It's so obvious, why would anyone think differently? But when it comes to our mental health, things often appear so much more unnecessarily complicated. Thanks for the reminder, Clay!


Clay’s Tallest Story www.youtube.com

Heroes
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Approximately 10% of the population is left-handed, and the balance between lefties and righties has been the same for almost 5,000 years. People used to believe that left-handed people were evil or unlucky. The word "sinister" is even derived from the Latin word for "left."

In modern times, the bias against lefties for being different is more benign – spiral notebooks are a torture device, and ink gets on their hands like a scarlet letter. Now, a new study conducted at the University of Oxford and published in Brain is giving left-handers some good news. While left-handers have been struggling with tools meant for right-handers all these years, it turns out, they actually possess superior verbal skills.

Researchers looked at the DNA of 400,000 people in the U.K. from a volunteer bank. Of those 400,000 people, 38,332 were southpaws. Scientists were able to find the differences in genes between lefties and righties, and that these genetic variants resulted in a difference in brain structure, too. "It tells us for the first time that handedness has a genetic component," Gwenaëlle Douaud, joint senior author of the study and a fellow at Oxford's Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, told the BBC.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Pete the Plant is a maidenhair fern living in the Rainforest Life exhibit at the London Zoo, but Pete the Plant isn't like other plants. Pete the Plant is also a budding photographer. Scientists in the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) conservation tech unit has been teaching the plant how to take selfies.

The ZSL held a competition in partnership with Open Plant, Cambridge University, and the Arribada Initiative for the design of a fuel cell powered by plants. Plant E in the Netherlands produced the winning design. The prototype cell creates electricity from the waste from the plant's roots. The electricity will be used to charge a battery that's attached to a camera. Once Pete the Plant grows strong enough, it will then use the camera to take a selfie. Not too bad for a plant.

"As plants grow, they naturally deposit biomatter into the soil they're planted in, which bacteria in the soil feeds on – this creates energy that can be harnessed by fuel cells and used to power a wide range of conservation tools," Al Davies, ZSL's conservation technology specialist, explains.

RELATED: This plant might be the answer to water pollution we've been searching for

Keep Reading Show less
Innovation