As Citizen editor Larry Platt said this week, Sunday’s Super Bowl is about more than just Eagles vs. Patriots. It’s a cultural referendum for our time. “For there is no team more aligned with Donald Trump than the New England Patriots, both personally, and in terms of values represented,” he wrote.” And there is no team in professional sports as socially conscious as our Eagles.”
We’re inching closer to the big day (Fly, Eagles, Fly!) and growing our list of players whose commitment to social causes rivals their hustle and determination on the field. We’re highlighting players who are using their time, money and platform to make the city and world a better place. In our eyes, that makes them winners no matter what.
For our final edition, we’ll throw it back to our most recent columnist Malcolm Jenkins and teammate Chris Long. Both work to bring attention to criminal justice issues, and to support education for kids across the city through engaging programs and socially-minded events.
Enjoy our final roundup and get ready for the big game!
Malcolm Jenkins, Safety
As a positive force in more than one community throughout the nation, Jenkins founded The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation in 2010, a non-profit organization with the a mission to provide resources, experiences and opportunities to underserved youth. The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation hosts a youth-development programs called Next Level Youth Football Camp, and Get Ready Fest, a program that supporters families in need of food.
The foundation’s Malcolm Jenkins Scholars program has also raised more than $100,000 in scholarship for first generation college students who have completed the Project R.E.W.A.R.D.S program. Last February, Jenkins was awarded the Byron “Whizzer” White Award for his outstanding charitable efforts off the field. Jenkins, having won this award, was given $100,000 to donate to the charity of his choice. (The 2018 award went to teammate Chris Long.) With a presence in New Jersey, Columbus, Ohio, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation has helped thousands in need. He also wrapped up his column for The Citizen where he covered criminal justice and talked about his journey to becoming a more engaged citizen.
Chris Long, Defensive End
This season, Long donated all 10 of his NFL game checks to support education equity and opportunity in Charlottesville—where he grew up, and where he donated his salary from the first six games—Philadelphia, St. Louis and Boston. As part of his Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign, Long challenged fans in the four cities where he has played ball to join him in supporting education, promising another $50,000 to the city that raised the highest amount. Philadelphia by far was the leader, collecting over $414,000 to support the city’s Summer Search chapter. In total, Long and fans raised more than $1.3 million.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate,” Long said when he announced the Pledge. “I want to use my platform to affect change.”
Long was named the Week 2 NFL Players Association Community MVP during the 2017 season for his charitable initiatives. Yesterday, the NFLPA awarded him the Byron “Whizzer” White award, for best serving his team, community and country. The award—given to Jenkins last year—comes with a $100,000 prize for his foundation.
As the Eagles headed into the playoffs, Long also worked with teammate Lane Johnson to raise another $100,000 for the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia through “underdog” t-shirts, and also got the NFL to donate proceeds from their underdog shirts to the schools as well.Malcolm Jenkins high fives a participant in one of his Summer S.T.E.A.M programs