Eagles’ Star Malcolm Jenkins Spotlights Social Justice Debate

(CNN) — Fresh off his Super Bowl win, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told CNN Monday that he intends to skip the Philadelphia Eagles upcoming visit to the White House to commemorate his team’s victory.

“Nah, I personally do not anticipate attending,” Jenkins told CNN’s “New Day.”

Asked if he has a message for Trump, Jenkins said, “My message has been clear all year … I want to see changes in our criminal justice system. I want to see us push for economical and educational advancement in communities of color and low-income communities. And I want to see our relationship between our communities and our law enforcement be advanced.”

Ahead of Sunday’s match-up, the Eagles took the field to imprisoned Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill’s 2012 song, “Dreams and Nightmares.” Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison in September by a Philadelphia judge who cited a failed drug test and the rapper’s noncompliance with a court order restricting his travel. Outrage over his sentence has sparked a broader debate about criminal justice.

“The entire city of Philadelphia is part of this. Especially during this playoff run, we really found a lot of energy and juice from Meek’s music, and we obviously still support him and we want him to get home,” Jenkins said. “We want him to be free. We know this means a lot to him when it’s over. Hopefully, this is going to give him a little bit of joy.”

Jenkins has been one of the most outspoken NFL players amid President Donald Trump’s feud with the league over players taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest racism.

Jenkins, who has raised his fist during the National Anthem to protest racism, leads the Player’s Coalition — a group of NFL players negotiating with the league to address the concerns of those who protest.

His teammates Torrey Smith and Chris Long also indicated that they would not attend, citing their opposition to Trump.

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