Sunday’s Week 1 game between the Eagles and Washington Football Team featured the two sides locking arms in the middle of the field before the game as a sign of unity.
But that was not the initial plan, at least not for the Eagles.
Philadelphia defensive tackle Malik Jackson told reporters on Wednesday that they reached out to the Washington Football Team about kneeling before the opening kickoff, but Washington declined.
“Unfortunately, we could not get the Washington Football Team on board,” Jackson said, per NJ.com, while wearing a red “Make America Arrest the Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor” hat, with “Great Again” crossed out.
After the show of unity, the Eagles left for the locker room before the playing of "Lift Every Voice and Sing” and the national anthem.
Jackson, who signed with the Eagles in 2019, believes players should be making stronger gestures that leave a much bigger impact.
“I want to do something that is tangible that people can see and grasp,” he said. “To me, holding arms doesn’t allow people to really say what side they are on and say how they feel.
“I just really hope that we could do something that people could truly say how they feel, not during the anthem because I personally feel we should stand for that, but another time. There are a lot of moving parts, and hopefully, we can get something together where we are making real statements and not holding arms.”
Jackson did add that the league is doing some nice things and commended Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie for working with players in getting them more active into the community and not “hiding behind the shield.”
He also added he would like to see front offices better represented around the league.
“I would like to see more guys hired that looked like me,” he said. “I think we have a league that 70% of the people who play look like me, that it would be nice for the upstairs to look like that. I just think something should be done.
“As a coalition that coach and Mr. Lurie put together, we have been trying our hardest to come together and make positive change and get good answers that he can see, and we can all feel. It might start with the hiring of African-American employees higher up, but as I’ve said, I’m just an employee.”