by Frances Esguerra
Led by Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and rapper Meek Mill at the invitation of Mayor Jim Kenney, the NFL Player’s Coalition hosted a town hall meeting early this month to discuss criminal justice in Philadelphia ahead of the hiring of the city’s next commissioner. The main topic of conversation at this town hall were the dynamics between residents and law enforcement amid the recent resignation of Philadelphia’s Police Department Commissioner Richard Ross. Ross stepped down from his position in light of allegations that members of his department engaged in sexual harassment and racial and gender discrimination against two women serving in the ranks.
Jenkins and Mill hope to bridge the relationship between residents and law enforcement, a gap that seemed to widen amidst the allegations against the PPD. “This is the time we need to use our voices the loudest and make sure that we hold [the mayor] accountable to what we want,” Jenkins stated, “and that this new person is going to come in and make a cultural shift.”
This is just one example of NFL Players’ Coalition’s on-going efforts in social justice. The Coalition has taken up several initiatives in various markets in hopes positively influencing social justice reform. About a week ago Jenkins and the Coalition also partnered with Roc Nation to launch the first public service announcement of the Responsibility Program, which will include a series of announcements focused on parents whose children were victims of police brutality and gun violence.
Why We Like It:
Malcolm Jenkins and Meek Mill are using their platform to encourage social change for the better. As two people who call Philadelphia home, they are making an effort to hold their neighborhoods’ leadership accountable. Their willingness to speak to the public and encourage discussion on difficult topics is admirable and necessary for positive change. Similarly, the Players’ Coalition, co-founded by Jenkins, is an excellent example of influential individuals joining forces to make an impact. Together, this group of motivated ambassadors can reach their common goal more efficiently as they all do their part in holding each other and their hometowns accountable.