Asked about canceled White House visit, Eagles player uses posters rather than words

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins remained silent on Wednesday as he faced questions from reporters about a canceled trip to the White House, opting instead to hold up a series of signs drawing attention to racial inequality in the criminal justice system.

As reporters asked questions, the NFL star alternated between a set of hand-written signs bearing statistics on incarcerations and police-involved shootings of black people. 

"You're not listening," read one sign, held up multiple times by Jenkins.


Jenkins also displayed a sign naming a cadre of current and former NFL players who have advocated for criminal justice and policing reform, including New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson and linebacker Damario Davis.

Jenkins also tweeted photos of the signs.

Jenkins's silent news conference came amid a feud between President TrumpDonald John TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration MORE and numerous NFL players over whether athletes should be allowed to kneel during the national anthem. 

The on-field protests began in 2016 with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling to protest racial inequality and police brutality toward people of color. 

Trump has railed against the protests, which he has called unpatriotic and disrespectful to U.S. service members and military veterans.

Jenkins is among several players who have spoken publicly about social and criminal justice issues. After NFL officials announced a new policy last month barring players from kneeling during the anthem, Jenkins issued a statement castigating the league for stifling "players' constitutional rights to express themselves."

The Eagles safety also issued a scathing response following Trump's decision this week to scrap the Super Bowl-winning team's planned visit to the White House. Jenkins said "the decision was made to lie, and paint the picture that these players are anti-America, anti-flag and anti-military."

In fact, many Eagles players had decided against visiting with the president, and the White House issued a statement citing low attendance as explanation for canceling the planned visit.

The White House said "the great majority of [Eagles] players" were not planning to appear at the White House event and "the vast majority of the Eagles team decided to abandon their fans."