By Michael Donovan

Malcolm Jenkins is gone from the Eagles and the Linc, back in New Orleans with the Saints.

But he reminded us last night about why he was beloved for his on the field play and off the field activism.

A co-founder of the Players Coalition and prominent activist for social justice and racial equality, Jenkins urged athletes, coaches and media “to do our part to make this country better” the ESPYS broadcast, calling the events of the past month “a tipping point.”

“There’s no going back, there’s no inching forward,” Jenkins said during the awards show, held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, as footage rolled of a recent Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles. “The time is now.”

Jenkins said the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in 2016 left him feeling “hurt,” “defeated” and “confused” about what he wanted to do next. He said he found inspiration from watching LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul at the 2016 ESPYS challenge athletes and entertainers to use their platform to unify this country and also call out injustice.

“The next day, I jumped into action,” Jenkins said. “Unfortunately, only a fraction of us answered that call. But history has shown us the impact that only a few voices can make.”

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