As a member of the Super Bowl-bound Philadelphia Eagles, national anthem protester and social activist Malcolm Jenkins is allotted a group of tickets for the upcoming Super Bowl.
Ever the activist, Jenkins decided to give his tickets to a convicted murderer who is out on parole.
The Eagles strong safety told the media that he read about convicted murderer Kempis Songster who was getting out of prison and decided to reward the killer with Super Bowl tickets, CBS Sports reported.
“A few weeks ago, I saw an article come across my text that he was getting out, and I wanted to do something special for him,” Jenkins told the New York Daily News on Jan. 25. “I knew I wanted to do something to celebrate him coming home because I understood he really dedicated himself to a life of service and he’s trying to repay what he’s taken from society. I know he has some great ideas and we’re trying to accomplish the same thing when we talk about reform and healing our communities.”
Jenkins added that instead of giving the tickets to someone who is sick or “well deserving,” he gave the tickets to the murderer to encourage people to “think outside the box” and to “listen and hear from one another.”
The player concluded saying he is going to “lean” on the released killer for “insight.”
“Because he’s someone I’m going to lean on for insight of what’s going on, who has been through the process, knows what’s going on, how people are being affected,” Jenkins concluded. “Those are the voices I want to amplify when we talk about trying to change it. You have to be able to engage, and Kempis is a great example of that.”
Kempis Songster, who was convicted of murder as a teenager, was released from maximum-security prison early after a recent Supreme Court decision that mandatory life sentences for minors are unconstitutional. The felon was handed a life sentence in 1988 for murdering another teenager during an argument in a Philadelphia crack house, but thanks to the SCOTUS decision he served only 30 years of that sentence.
Jenkins was one of the first members of the National Football League to join former San Francisco 49ers second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest against the country, our flag, history, and first responders by raising a military black power fist during the playing of the national anthem.
Jenkins mounted his protests starting in 2016 and continued them throughout the 2017 season until November when he said he decided that the issue was well worn and recognized. He also decided to stop the protests because of the $89 million the league promised to spend on social justice issues and programs.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.