Malcolm Jenkins Wants Virus Risk Eliminated Before Returning

Ed Kracz

Summer is in full swing, but the NFL remains frozen in place.

There are very few rookies that have signed contracts and veteran free agents are still waiting for their phones to ring, including two prominent quarterbacks, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick.

On Thursday, the NFL canceled its Hall of Fame game scheduled for Aug. 12 between the Cowboys and Steelers and along with it the enshrinement of the class of inductees. 

Protocols and safety measures have been discussed and there are plans in place, but how effective they will be after a 10-day run where the news has been dominated by athletes and stadium personnel testing positive for the coronavirus is anybody's guess.

NFL players are taking notice.

One, former Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, now with the New Orleans Saints, went on CNN Thursday morning and called football “a nonessential business” adding that “we do not need to do it.”

Jenkins said that the NBA, which is planning to resume play in the “bubble” environment of Orlando is much different than the NFL and the two sports cannot be compared when it comes to safety.

“The NBA is a lot different than the NFL because they can actually have all their players or whoever’s going to participate where we have over 2,000 players, even more coaches, and staff, we can’t do that,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins, who played all 96 games with the Eagles during the six seasons he was in Philly, added that the NFL will have to rely on players doing the right things.

“We’ll end up being on kind of this trust system, the honor system, where we just have to hope that guys are social distancing and things like that (otherwise) that puts all of us at risk,” said Jenkins. “Not only us as players and who’s in the building but when you go home to your families.

“I have parents that I do not want to get sick. I think until we get to the point where we have protocols in place and until we get to the point as a country where we feel safe doing it – we have to understand that football is a nonessential business and we don’t need to do it. So the risk has to really be eliminated before I would feel comfortable going back.”

Earlier this month, Jenkins, 32, was hired as a contributor for CNN where he’ll comment on national affairs related to racism and social injustice and will appear on several CNN studio shows.

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