Detroit Lions linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin has been called everything except a child of God since he started taking a knee during the national anthem. But he is unmoved by the hateful comments and ill-wishes hurled his way. Reeves-Maybin is protesting racism and police brutality and he will continue to take a knee until he decides otherwise.
“I feel like the right thing for me is to kneel,” Reeves-Maybin said. “I really don’t like the state of social inequalities and (in)justices that go on here. I didn’t want it to be about what President Trump said, and I felt like at the time, the week when you saw all of the demonstrations, I feel like it more so made it about that and that’s not the idea of what it should have been.”
People Call Him The N-Word ‘All Day’
No one would blame the former Tennessee Vol standout if he ended his protests. He is being attacked publicly and through social media by people who wish he would get CTE (a degenerative brain disease) or that he wouldn’t be healthy enough to play with his children once his football career was behind him. And then there are the die hard racists who see fit to call him a n*gger at-will. Reeves-Maybin says that use of racial epithets are a regular occurrence.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” he said, according to MLive.com. “Yeah. All day. But, I mean, I can handle it.”
Two Detroit Lions were on a knee during the national anthem in Minnesota: Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Steve Longa.
(Photo: Getty) pic.twitter.com/Zp7kCW5Ls3
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) October 1, 2017
The 22-year-old is committed to the cause and could care less what anyone else has to say about it. Just two days after Trump referred to Colin Kaepernick and other protesters like him as a “son of a b*tch” who owners should fire immediately, he posted a picture of himself and several teammates taking a knee. Reeves-Maybin captioned it, “FDT (an acronym for F*ck Donald Trump). RipTrayvonMartin. #Please UnfollowMeIfYouAintWithTheMovement.”
Reeves-Maybin Is Not For Sale
You can’t put a price on his activism either. Team owner Martha Ford met with the team and offered to make donations toward the players’ chosen charitable causes if they would stand for the anthem in future games. Reeves-Maybin appreciated the gesture, but it didn’t change his mind.
“She could have just turned a blind eye to it or she couldn’t have made a decision,” the linebacker said. “For her to come out and say she supports us, that’s a big step in the right direction.”
While some like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have threatened to bench players who exercise their First Amendment rights to peaceful protest, Reeves-Maybin feels supported by the Lions organization. He believes that the team is looking for something they can do together. Until then, the young man, along with teammate Steve Longa, will probably be the only two people who kneel–and that is just fine with him.