Trust the process, unless it’s not as transparent as you’d like it to be.
That’s the explanation given by NFL athletes Eric Reid and Michael Thomas for stepping away from the Players Coalition run by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin.
The clash in ideas is documented in an ESPN story published this morning, explaining a difference in opinion over how to address the NFL’s proposal to pour $100 million into social justice programs as a solution to the Colin Kaepernick/national anthem controversy.
From the article:
“The Players Coalition was supposed to be formed as a group that represents NFL Athletes who have been silently protesting social injustices and racism,” Thomas and Reid said via Twitter. “However, Malcolm and Anquan can no longer speak on our behalf as we don’t believe the coalition’s beliefs are in our best interests as a whole.”
Reid says he’s not satisfied with the structure of the coalition, which he claims is not taking all member opinions into account:
“Malcolm continues to have conversations on his own with the NFL, and the Players Coalition is his organization,” Reid said. “When we agreed to be a part of the Players Coalition, we were under the impression that it would be our organization. We were under the impression that we would all have equal say in that organization.
“But we’ve come to find out that it’s actually Malcolm and Anquan’s organization. Nobody else really has a stake in the organization. Malcolm actually wants us to — he calls it invest, I call it donate — to the company to pay salaries for his staff. But again, we would have no equity in the organization.”
Jenkins has been a key figure in the nationwide debate sparked by Kaepernick, attending meetings with league officials and speaking frequently on the topic of social injustice. Off-field, he started the Malcolm Jenkins foundation to focus on youth development in underserved communities and has won numerous awards for his charitable work.
But as the NFL (finally, seemingly) organizes in response to the anthem issue, players are split on how to proceed.
I sense that there might be something to this train of thought:
Eric Reid seems a bit more radical and Malcolm Jenkins seems a bit on the engaging, moderate side. There's a place for both. It's tough they can't get on the same page. Smh.
— Allen K. (@AllenK_81) November 29, 2017
The NFL has been using Malcolm Jenkins like the gov. used MLK. They paint him as the poster boy of “appropriate” protest because he couples it with some community work and police ride alongs. The NFL knew they couldn’t tame Kaep or Eric Reid. Stay the course brothas.
— Willie King (@TJ_King3) November 29, 2017
According to the story, this would be the largest donation to a public cause in NFL history. The league could have simply avoided the topic entirely by tweaking league rules to keep players in the locker room during the anthem, but offered this proposal to the players instead.
Coalition members are expected to discuss that proposal tonight, so we’ll see how they decide to respond.