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Long then directly addressed the critics he knew would be rising out of the comment sections and sports-radio call-ins of the world: "If you don't see why you need allies for people that are fighting for equality right now, I don't think you'll ever see it", he said. Long held one hand over his heart and the other drapped across Jenkins' shoulder.

Yahoo reported that Long also spoke against President Donald Trump's "both sides" speech in the aftermath of last week's clash, that included white supremecist groups and KKK members marching with torches and chanting Nazi slogans such as "Jews will not replace me", and "blood and soil".

"I just told Malcolm, 'I'm here for you, '" Long told reporters after the game.

"What happened to Charlottesville to me was not a starting point".

"I've heard a lot of people say you need white athletes to get involved in the anthem protests", Long said afterward. "Even before that, more white males should be in a position of an ally or support, not someone who is trying to undermine or take over or draw attention to themselves which is why I don't think he did exactly what I was doing [raising the fist]".

Long said he wanted to show his support after a white nationalist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent, leading to the death of a woman who was run over by a neo-Nazi supporter.

Long's decision to join Jenkins came hours after Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks, who sat during the anthem at a Seahawks' preseason game, said on ESPN that for real change to come, for the protest to matter, a white player would have to get involved. "People like Heather Heyer gave their lives for that, and I was inspired by that", he said.

Since Long couldn't help out in Charlottesville, he decided he would show support for Jenkins and the safety's protest during the national anthem. "Just being able to stand alongside a teammate or a brother and say, "I support you" goes a long way".

Sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter in March that Kaepernick would stand during the national anthem this upcoming season.

But in spite of this pushback, Long has resolved to continue showing his support for the movement.

"Last year, the people who were against Kaepernick were probably making the most noise, and now you have the reverse", Jenkins said.

Some of Jenkins' white teammates allegedly considering joining the protests in 2016 but plans never panned out. "It's all of our thing to get involved in".

As the National Football League season creeps closer, there's been just as much talk about players' actions on the sidelines as their play than on the field.

"As the blowback against those who stand up for what is right thickens, I feel it is necessary to push forward with a relentless determination", Jenkins said. "I want to send a message that we will not easily be moved or deterred from fighting for justice".


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