PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) –The much anticipated meeting between NFL owners and players commenced in New York Tuesday and lasted about four hours.
The league has been the subject of contentious debate in connection with players kneeling during the national anthem in protest of social injustice.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said the meeting didn’t really center around players’ protests and taking a knee, but rather it was an open dialogue about the social issues behind the protest and how to solve them.
“Very little of the meeting was about the national anthem,” said Jenkins. “Everything we talked about has everything to do with the state of the NFL and how we can move this forward and make some long sustainable change.”
The Eagles’ safety recently partnered with the Philadelphia Police Department to do just that, even doing ride-alongs with officers.
“I give him credit that he is extending the olive branch,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross. “He made it clear about the issues that he has regarding law enforcement and people of color. He’s also made additional attempts to make some inroads to make things better.”
At the meeting, both the league and the players agreed to keep the conversation going.
“I think we all agree there’s nothing better than going back into our communities and making them better,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “That was the focus today.”
However, some members of the public said talk is cheap.
“I think it’s a step that should have been made a long time ago,” said Supreme Dow, of the 10-22 protest committee. “We can’t be satisfied with letting a few black players talk about social issues. These social issues are not new.”
Dow said his group is still calling for a boycott of next Monday’s Eagles game, and they are planning to protest in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.