Saints fans shouldn’t have any problems reminiscing over moments like this. A rookie safety named Malcolm Jenkins reflecting on the Super Bowl win over the Colts.
WDD had the good fortune to touch base with former Saint and current Philadelphia Eagle Malcolm Jenkins. He, along with the rest of the Super Bowl team of 2009-10, became a part of New Orleans history and will forever be remembered as being a member of that special team that brought healing and renewed faith to a region that was by and large left for dead. Special acknowledgments go out to Malcolm’s PR peeps: Rebecca Otto and Kristi Roehm
Robert Gagnier: Thanks for taking this time out of your busy schedule sir. How are you doing today Malcolm?
Malcolm Jenkins: I am doing well.
RG: Malcolm on behalf of the entire city of New Orleans and the team here at Who Dat Dish, I want to say that we appreciate the sacrifice, time, and energy you put into New Orleans not only during the time you played with the Saints, but also for your efforts to curb violence in the city while you were there.
: I appreciate that.
RG: Can you tell us a bit about why you and other NFL players such as Anquan Boldin are in the nation’s capitol?
MJ: Yes, we came to Capitol Hill to advocate for better relationships between law enforcement, criminal justice reform, and to discuss topics such as mandatory minimums, lengthy prison sentences, and all that goes along with that. In addition, we are also here to discuss ways to lower the recidivism rate that plagues our country as a whole but especially communities of color and African-Americans in particular across the country. We really want to try to find a way to turn the system and things around, and that is what we are here to do. We want to find out what’s going on at Capitol Hill that we can support; as well as to find out who is doing work that we can get behind, stand next to, and really push this through.
It is a bipartisan effort; there is a great deal of support, but for whatever reason there is still an impasse. So that is why we are here, and we’ll be meeting with various people for the next two days. We are here to take that first step and push that agenda.
RG: Malcolm, you recently won the NFL Players Association’s Whizzer White Award, which annually recognizes players who go above and beyond to perform community service in their team cities and hometowns. How much did that honor mean to you?
MJ: It meant a lot! I had been a finalist in two years before, so it meant a great deal, but not for myself. It’s an opportunity for me to acknowledge those who helped me to execute. The foundation always comes first throughout the different cities and around the country. And I know I couldn’t do it alone without the help of so many. Our volunteers, sponsors, donors and my board really knew how to take my vision and put in play. But it was great to get the acknowledgment and financial support for the foundation that comes with it from the NFLPA. To be recognized by my peers is a huge honor!
RG: Malcolm on behalf of the Who Dat Dish, thank you so much for your time. You’re doing wonderful things and we only wish you the best!
MJ: Thank you Rob.
Below is the brief account of the press release distributed by Congressman Jim Renacci regarding the Bipartisan Working Group. The release addresses the main reason for the trip that Malcolm and other NFL players took to D.C.
Malcolm Butler was one of four players that the Bipartisan Working Group welcomed to D.C. The others are Anquan Boldin, Donte’ Stallworth and Johnson Bademosi.
"The Bipartisan Working Group was founded by Congressman Renacci in 2011 and currently co-chairs the group with Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA). The BPWG includes both Republican and Democratic lawmakers who share the belief that fostering interparty collegiality can lead to meaningful legislative partnerships and tangible results. Today, the BPWG consists of over 20 members, evenly divided between the two parties, who meet once a week while Congress is in session. It has proven to be a successful vehicle for bringing legislation to the floor and garnering support for bills from both sides of the aisle."
Jenkins was quoted in the release.
"“We appreciate the opportunity to be heard and to lend our support. Currently, the disparity between mass incarceration and funding for rehabilitation programs is what is hurting our communities. We need to reform mandatory sentencing laws and re-entry programs for nonviolent offenders. Instead of spending money keeping people locked up, we should be investing in helping people overcoming their past and starting anew. Our goal is to revisit and garner support for important legislation like the Second Chance Act, which would offer them opportunities to turn their lives around through successful drug recovery programs, job training and mental health treatment.”"
It is perhaps more important now than ever for players like Malcolm Jenkins to step up for their communities, and for communities all across the United States, and to speak out against the injustices facing marginalized and lower-class communities. It’s refreshing to find a space in the world in which political outreach and action are celebrated.