Saints' Malcolm Jenkins hired as CNN's newest contributor

New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins is broadening his personal platform beyond the NFL.

CNN announced on Monday that Jenkins has been hired as the news network’s newest contributor. According to Variety, Jenkins will be appearing on various CNN studio programs to comment on national affairs from his perspective as a current NFL player and activist.

In the statement he released about his newest venture, Jenkins said that he’s eager to educate people and be a voice for athlete activists. Via Variety:

“Having spent years running non-profits and supporting grassroots organizations to address the inequalities of our criminal justice system, educational system and disparate wealth in our marginalized communities, I believe I can be a voice for other athlete activists and those who have dedicated their lives to changing legislation, policies and reforms for human equality.

“Now more than ever, the public needs to be educated on the roles of elected positions of power, such as the District Attorney, Police Chief or City Council and how to hold those individuals accountable, especially through their voice and their vote. In an important election year, I’m eager to join the CNN family and share my perspective as a regular contributor.”

This feels like a natural step for Jenkins, who has always been outspoken on issues of racism and social justice. He stepped up his activity in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick kneeled in protest during the national anthem, founding the Players Coalition with Anquan Boldin in 2017. He’s written op-eds for the Washington Post and New York Times about racial injustice, and was one of four players to sign a memo to Roger Goodell in 2017 asking for his support in the campaign for racial equality.

In the weeks since George Floyd’s killing in police custody, Jenkins has been using his voice even more. He’s called for the NFL to apologize to Kaepernick and openly discussed his support of defunding the police. He also publicly criticized his own quarterback, Drew Brees, when Brees said that he felt that kneeling during the national anthem was disrespectful to the flag. After conversations with his teammates, including Jenkins, Brees apologized (twice) and said that he now understands that kneeling in protest is not about what he said.

Malcolm Jenkins, one of the NFL's most outspoken players, will be joining CNN as a contributor. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM )

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