New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins — a social justice leader in the NFL — has been hired by CNN as a contributor, PhillyVoice reported.
What else is Jenkins’ known for?
Jenkins made some different headlines early this month after publicly blasting teammate and exceedingly philanthropic quarterback Drew Brees, who made the mistake of saying that while he stands with players “fighting for racial equality and justice,” he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America” by kneeling during the national anthem.
Brees’ comments came amid the George Floyd protests and rioting, which likely rubbed some the wrong way.
Count Jenkins among them, who responded by telling Brees “sometimes you should shut the f*** up.”
“Our communities are under siege, and we need help,” Jenkins noted on social media. “And what you’re telling us is don’t ask for help that way. Ask for it a different way. I can’t listen to it when you ask that way. We’re done talking, Drew. And people who share your sentiments, who express those and push them throughout the world, the airwaves, are the problem.”
Jenkins also said, “[I]t’s unfortunate because I considered you a friend. I looked up to you. You’re somebody who I had a great deal of respect for.”
The past tense of Jenkins’ latter comments indicates his sentiments are no more — which should make it interesting in the Superdome locker room this fall.
What are the details of Jenkins’ CNN gig?
“Now more than ever, the public needs to be educated on the roles of elected positions of power, such as the District Attorney, Police Chief or City Council and how to hold those individuals accountable, especially through their voice and their vote,” Jenkins said in a statement to Variety, according to PhillyVoice. “In an important election year, I’m eager to join the CNN family and share my perspective as a regular contributor. I also want to thank CNN for their thoughtful leadership in viewing professional athletes beyond their sport as another educated voice who brings a varied perspective and value to the network’s programming and shows.”
More from PhillyVoice:
Jenkins, 32, has led a variety of community initiatives in recent years through his Malcolm Jenkins Foundation and the Players Coalition, which he spearheaded with retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin. The independent advocacy group secured a $100 million commitment from the NFL to support charities and organizations in the areas of criminal justice, education and law enforcement reform.
The two-time Super Bowl winner has previously written for CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post and also had a weekly feature with PhillyVoice during the 2018 football season. He is the co-founder of Listen Up Media, the production company behind “Black Boys,” a documentary on black life in the United States that will be released later this year.
What happened after Jenkins ripped Brees?
After Jenkins publicly blasted him, Brees quickly issued a lengthy apology for his words about anthem kneeling, saying “it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused.”
Brees then issued a second apology, noting in an Instagram video, “I know there’s not much that I can say that would make things any better right now, but I just want you to see my eyes, how sorry I am for the comments I made yesterday,” Brees said. “I am sorry, and I will do better, and I will be part of the solution, and I am your ally.”
And after President Donald Trump said Brees shouldn’t have apologized, the quarterback took to Instagram again and penned a message to Trump, saying “we must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when?”
Brees’ wife Brittany also issued a “WE ARE THE PROBLEM” apology on the Instagram page of the Brees Dream Foundation, an organization “serving terminally-ill adults and their families by providing end-of-life dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure.”
Jenkins wasn’t the only athlete to lay into Brees. NBA star LeBron James took to Twitter and wrote, “WOW MAN!! Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn’t! You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute nothing to do with the disrespect of and our soldiers (men and women) who keep our land free. My father-in-law was one of those … men who fought as well for this country.”
But after Brees’ comments to Trump, Jenkins told the quarterback in an Instagram story that “as much as your comments hurt me and many other people, I appreciate you for listening because being heard is a big part of it.” Others accepted Brees’ apology as well.