Philadelphia Eagles Safety Speaks on Stephon Clark and DA Race

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SACRAMENTO -- He may have taken down Stockton-native Brandon Cooks in the Super Bowl, but Thursday Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was on local turf to take down something else -- injustice.

Jenkins helped found the Players Coalition two years ago. It's an organization of NFL players pushing for social change in areas like police policy reform and elimination of cash bail.

As part of that effort, the group hosted a forum at Brickhouse Gallery for candidates vying to be Sacramento County's next District Attorney.

The recent police killing of Stephon Clark and the current DA's handling of similar past cases have been flashpoints in the campaign.

Jenkins weighed in.

"Stephon Clark's case is not something new," he said. "It's something that's been happening across our country, especially in communities of color. But there's a unique opportunity right now here in Sacramento to galvanize the public to vote on somebody who has the power to hold police accountable when there are these type of incidents."

Voters who gathered for the forum were frustrated that current Sacramento County DA Anne Marie Schubert didn't come. Her only opponent, Noah Phillips, did but people in the crowd were upset that he was just answering a list of questions posed by Jenkins and not taking questions from the public.

Jenkins shares why athletes should be advocates

Football players should just be quiet and play football. It's something that was said repeatedly as Colin Kaepernick came under fire for taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality in general, and specifically the police killings of unarmed black men.

Jenkins spoke out about athletes and advocacy.

"First and foremost, I'm only a football player while I'm playing football. I take my helmet off and I'm a citizen of this country and somebody who comes from communities of color," Jenkins said. "And when we look at some of the things that are going on across the country, when Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee in the first place, it's because we're frustrated with our criminal justice system that is continuously putting black and brown bodies behind bars."

The Players Coalition has a similar event planned Friday in Oakland featuring Richard Sherman.

"We're seeing our juveniles put away as adults," Jenkins said. "We're tired of a cash bail system that criminalizes poverty. We have an opportunity to change that as athletes."

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