Safety Malcolm Jenkins was named the National Football League Players Association's 2017 winner of the prestigious Byron "Whizzer" White Award on Thursday for his contributions off the field of play.
The Whizzer White Award is the highest honor the NFLPA can bestow on a player for his dedication to positively impacting his team, community, and country in the spirit of the former Supreme Court Justice for whom the award is named.
"It means a lot to me," Jenkins said by telephone shortly after the announcement was made. "The previous award winners did a lot of good work in the community and then to be recognized amongst a great field of peers is a huge honor for me, but it's a bigger honor for the people behind me for all the work they have done. My wife (Morrisa), my mother (Gwendolyn), our board, different staff members who have really put in the work to make the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation so effective and so widespread in four states. That takes a lot of collaboration and a lot of teamwork. I'm happy for them to finally get some recognition and honors."
Since the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, which receives $100,000 from the Players Association, was established in 2010, the Pro Bowl safety and Super Bowl champion (in 2009 with New Orleans) has poured his time and resources into providing programs and initiatives for underprivileged youth in Louisiana, New Jersey, Ohio, and Philadelphia. In 2016, Jenkins helped provide nearly 300 families with Thanksgiving meals, presented 13 scholarships to college-bound seniors through his Project REWARDS program, and sought to improve race relations within the country by joining four other NFL players in meeting with Congressional members this past November.
Jenkins' influence also stretches across the league. As the player representative for the Eagles, the veteran defender stands as a strong, respected voice among his teammates and fellow NFL players.
Jenkins has used the platform of the NFL to help his community, and other communities, every day. That has been part of his master plan.
"The most motivating thing for me is to see that all of the work is not in vain," said Jenkins, who has been a finalist for the award in two of the last three seasons. "There are people that are benefiting from all of this work and it's awesome. The amount of people that we've been able to touch from 2010 when we started the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation has grown far and beyond anything that we ever thought of, and it's only growing.
"I'm very appreciative of the NFLPA for selecting me for this award, not only for the honor but for the generous donation of $100,000 that will allow us to continue to do the work that we do and expand on our work. That's just more lives that we can touch."
*Click here or on the image below to learn more about the impact that Jenkins has already had in each of the communities where he's lived and the vision he has to help even more people in the future. *