ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Redskins cornerback Josh Norman pushed back Thursday on Eric Reid’s criticism of Malcolm Jenkins and The Players Coalition.
Reid and Jenkins had a heated exchange before Sunday’s game between Reid’s Carolina Panthers and Jenkins’ Philadelphia Eagles.
Jenkins co-founded The Players Coalition, a group focused on racial and social justice. Reid, a former member, took issue with the group’s direction and expressed his concerns following the Panthers’ 21-17 win.
“You have fiction people, and then you have non-fiction people,” said Norman, who is part of the Coalition’s leadership. “The ones who are actually in the room are the non-fiction people, people who actually know the facts of everything, the details.”
Reid, who signed with the Panthers in September, separated from the socially active coalition last fall and was critical Sunday in part because of the organization’s ties to the league.
The league is committing $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a three-segment plan that involves players.
“We believe a lot of players should have stepped up for Colin (Kaepernick),” Reid said Sunday. “I believe Malcolm capitalized on the situation. He co-opted the movement that was started by Colin to get his organization funded. It’s cowardly. (Jenkins) sold us out.”
Following Washington’s practice Thursday, Norman spoke for nearly 10 minutes on the issue.
“(Reid) was part of (The Players Coalition) at one point in time. He went to the direction, of, ‘OK, if Kaepernick is not the leader, then this is all for none.’ Our take was, ‘I’m sorry, but if guys voted for (Kaepernick) to be that, then OK, so be it. But it wasn’t that.'”
Kaepernick did not attend a meeting between players and owners last fall.
“(Kaepernick) started something at that time which everybody saw, but what did he do with that?” Norman said. “Where was the ball carried from that? What is it doing now? I’ve got facts to where guys are doing things in the Players Coalition that is making changes, making true changes in what is going on right now.”
Norman took Reid calling Jenkins a sellout personally.
“Come on. He’s not only coming at (Malcolm), he’s coming at our whole entire group, The Players Coalition. My thing is if guys were going to follow (Kaepernick), they would have done it. That’s my whole thing. But if you don’t have a direction of where you’re going with the whole thing, how (are) we going to follow you? I can’t follow you to the abyss. … You’ve got to have a plan.”
Norman said he attempted to call Reid multiple times this week. The two played on the same field Oct. 14 when Washington hosted Carolina, but the coalition was not discussed, according to Norman.
“(Reid) saw me the week before he did everything in Philly. He could have said that. I just feel like that all is for show. The truth of the matter is it’s all about the facts.
“We’ve got the facts, and there is nothing you can tell me anything different. I don’t care about the outside noise or what the people say. They can say whatever they want to, but you’re not just about to come up in this group and just talk about (this) and think nobody else is going to say nothing about it.”
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL