New Orleans Saints player Malcolm Jenkins, who spent the last few seasons as an outspoken member of the Philadelphia Eagles, urged Black Americans to stop waiting on the government and become self-reliant during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Saturday, the 12-year NFL veteran posted a video to Twitter imploring the Black community to question the disparity in who receives government-funded resources.
“This pandemic is real, and the damage that is left in wake of the coronavirus is realized mostly in our communities. Bad policy, institutional neglect, and overexposure place us disproportionately within arm’s reach of the dangers of this deadly virus,” said the Saints safety in his post.
“So take care of you first, share your resources, protect the elderly and stay home as much as possible,” he continued. “Please stay safe. Stay healthy and survive. Because whether they know it or not, the world needs us, and we need us.”
“We must survive. This pandemic is real and the damage that is left in the wake of the coronavirus is realized mostly in our communities,” he continued. “Bad policy, institutional neglect, and overexposure place us disproportionately in arms reach of the dangers of this deadly virus.”
To his point, there is now an overwhelming number of reports that substantiate fears that Black Americans are dying at much higher rates from the virus compared to other racial groups, even in communities where they are in the minority.
#dearblackpeople We are the most impacted, yet the focus of resources aren’t being invested in us. We cannot wait for a government that has NEVER prioritized us. We must look out for ourselves. Take care of you first, share resources, protect the elderly, and stay home! pic.twitter.com/Gcc6kJBC4U
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) April 11, 2020
Jenkins was one of the most vocal supporters of the NFL anthem protests, supporting former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s mission to force the NFL to do more to acknowledge police brutality and its adverse impact on Black men.
In 2018, The NFL ultimately, through the efforts of Kaepernick, Jenkins, former NFL star Anquan Boldin and others provided $89M for a seven-year “Inspire Change” social justice awareness initiative. The NFL then made a controversial deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to supervise their major entertainment events including the Super Bowl halftime show.