Malcolm Jenkins, the NFLPA’s 2016 Whizzer White award winner, had a great 2016 season for the Eagles, but he was probably even better off the field.
Jenkins has taken it upon himself in recent months to go the extra mile to see what he can do to improve Philadelphia’s communities, not just talking the talk but walking the walk.
It’s part of what helped him earn the Whizzer White award earlier this month. The award committee recognized him for “[partnering] with several educational programs to provide scholarships and other resources for students while collaborating with community outreach organizations to feed thousands of low-income families.”
He was also quite outspoken during the season about police-community relations, and traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Speaker Paul Ryan and members of Congress about improving relations between police officers and local communities.
And now, The Undefeated put together a pretty great mini-doc following Jenkins during his conversations and work with the Philadelphia Police Department, trying to both educate and be educated about community-police relations, and what can be done to improve the oft-strained relationships that exist.
(We can’t embed the video here, because ESPN’s current embed situation is... blech. But you can click this link right here.)
Jenkins meets with Richard Ross, Jr., the Philadelphia Police Commissioner, in a one-on-one interview setting. The two men, both black, talk a lot about stereotyping on both sides of the issue. It’s a good discussion.
Jenkins also goes on a ride-along with a PPD officer, George Soto, to talk about their respective experiences and viewpoints on community-police relations.
In the second half of the video, Jenkins and Soto head towards an area in North Philadelphia, a couple blocks from Edison High School, where gunshots were called in.
It ends with a couple of good insights from Jenkins and Ross:
“You can be pro-police and pro-justice at the same time,” Jenkins says. “You can stand for people that are being wronged without disrespecting police officers or disrespecting law enforcement.”
Ross effectively agrees.
“We acknowledge we’ve got a long way to go. I’m not trying to sit here and be disingenuous and say, ‘We’ve got this formula,’ because we don’t,” Ross says. “We want our communities to respect us, but we have to do the same for them. We have to understand that people are people, and we have a responsibility to do for them what we were sworn to do, which is protect and serve. We have to do so responsibly, we have to do so fairly.