Malcolm Jenkins: Returning to play on “trust system” puts us at risk

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The NFL organized a video conference with team owners on Thursday to discuss, among other topics, the preparations for the 2020 season.

Those preparations, particularly the ones having to do with controlling the spread of COVID-19, have been a frequent topic of conversation this offseason. Coaches have wondered how football can be practiced and played amid protocols calling for social distancing and Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins raised other concerns on CNN Thursday.

Unlike the NBA, the NFL is not going to be locking players, coaches and others in a “bubble” while trying to play this year. Jenkins noted that increases interactions with people outside of teams and creates other considerations for those needed to make the season happen.

“We kinda end up being on this trust system. The honor system, where we just have to kind of hope that people are social distancing and things like that. And that puts all of us at risk,” Jenkins said. “Not only us as players and who’s in the building, but when you go home to your families. I have parents who I don’t want to get sick. Until we get to the point where we have protocols in place and until we get to a place as a country where we feel safe doing it, we have to understand that football is a nonessential business and so we don’t need to do it. So the risk, you know, has to be really eliminated before we, before I would feel comfortable with going back.”

The risk of contracting COVID-19 isn’t going to be completely eliminated by the time teams report to training camp next month and it’s likely to remain through the entire 2020 season comes to an end. That may cause some players to think twice about playing, but it hasn’t caused the league to veer from its plans to move forward with the season as scheduled.

57 responses to “Malcolm Jenkins: Returning to play on “trust system” puts us at risk

  1. There’s not going to be a continuation of the NBA season or NFL season, this virus is spreading like wildfire and we have no means to control it no matter how careful people are or how many masks we wear.

  2. “Or how many mask we wear”

    its spreading because of the selfish people who won’t wear a mask

    the way things are going covid19 will still be with us next year

  3. If Malcolm doesn’t want to play there would be no problem finding players who would gladly take his spot. Risk of a serious outcome from covid for his age group is very low. The NFL is a risky business even without covid.

  4. Yeah I dont see NHL, NBA, MLB actually starting or if they do, come close to finishing.
    In places like Florida, it is going insane. I live in Toronto, 3rd biggest city in US/Canada. The area around where I live is around 7 M, about the same population density as Florida. (Florida way bigger population, but about same density) The amount of cases here on a day to day versus Florida is astronomically higher factoring in population. (17M vs 7M) and we are just starting to open up slowly. There were over 5000 cases yesterday alone- we had less than 200 as a province yesterday. Unless they shut down like we did for about three months, it wont change. Compounding the issue is having players away from family for 16 weeks minimum, a lot of players at higher risk based on ethnicity and when guys start getting it, having 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th stringers in.. who wants to watch that?

  5. People who can’t be bothered to even wear a mask at a grocery store.

    What happens when Murica has no leadership.

  6. I am at work. With cases happening around me. As are the majority of us in the real world. Come to earth Malcolm. If you cant get out there and play football while the rest of us are trying to keep the economy going, then that says alot about your situation.

  7. Who knew the virus could be our friend. No games. No squatting during the National Anthem. They don’t get paid. Whooopeeeeeeeeee!

  8. Vladimir_Trump says:

    June 25, 2020 at 9:45 am

    “Or how many mask we wear”

    its spreading because of the selfish people who won’t wear a mask

    the way things are going covid19 will still be with us next year

    wearing a cloth mask is not gonna stop a virus. Herd immunity is what you need so open everything up there has never been a vaccine for any strand of corona

  9. orangecrush78 says:
    June 25, 2020 at 9:57 am
    Yeah I dont see NHL, NBA, MLB actually starting or if they do, come close to finishing.
    In places like Florida, it is going insane. I live in Toronto, 3rd biggest city in US/Canada. The area around where I live is around 7 M, about the same population density as Florida. (Florida way bigger population, but about same density) The amount of cases here on a day to day versus Florida is astronomically higher factoring in population. (17M vs 7M) and we are just starting to open up slowly. There were over 5000 cases yesterday alone- we had less than 200 as a province yesterday. Unless they shut down like we did for about three months, it wont change. Compounding the issue is having players away from family for 16 weeks minimum, a lot of players at higher risk based on ethnicity and when guys start getting it, having 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th stringers in.. who wants to watch that?

    ——

    Here is the thing. The Virus is not going to go away by staying inside. We can delay the inevitable, but once we re-emerge, it will begin to spread again. The only way it will recede is when greater than 50% of the population has been exposed and built immunity. So what is the point of staying inside? Initially it was to prevent hordes of people from overwhelming the hospital system. This makes sense and should probably be the guide by which we make policy decisions. But they should be made regionally, county by county based on the hospital capacity within that county. For those at high risk or otherwise afraid….stay home. But do not expect the entire population to do the same.

  10. Finally a player stating it outloud. They do NOT want to catch it and then take it back home to THEIR families. Owners may want to play but I dont think the PLAYERS will let it happen.

  11. Anytime we venture out right now, we’re ALL in a “trust system”. I saw a sign at a gas station once that said “In God We Trust, all others have to pre-pay”.

  12. Okay Malcolm, no 2020 season, all contracts have the 2020 year voided and players have to payback the signing bonus that is earmarked for the 2020 cap (so you owe your team 2.25 mil)

  13. Beneath the veneer of concern for others, is his politics. In the face of overwhelming evidence that the risks to young athletes is extraordinarily low, and that fact that this is not going away, and vaccines are only good for one strain etc. he is acting like shutting down and living in a bubble is an actual good way to handle this. He must have a fat bank account or plans to sue someone or get into politics. He’s made over 50 million dollars in his career so far. I’d like to hear how the younger players on the first contracts that are not 1st round picks feel about this. I’m guessing they want to get back to work pronto. I’m guessing the trainers, equipment staff, field staff, locker room staff etc. all want to get back to work as well. Nobody should be listening to a multi millionaire athlete or entertainer on this issue. Especially when they are a political activist.

  14. I don’t necessarily disagree with anything that Malcom said.

    At the same time, this recent quest for SAFETY this past decade has had some terrible effects on society and individuals and I don’t see a Net Positive surrounding it… I see amplified anxieties, not safety.

    Safety is a mirage.

  15. I vote for Malcom to shut his mouth. At this point it’s much louder than his actual play on the field. We don’t need your view on everything, don’t play you don’t get paid. Make sense bozo?

  16. People going back to work for the “good” of our country to companies bailed out with trillions of dollars are the guinea pigs in today’s society. Can’t hate Malcom because he doesn’t want to be a guinea pig

  17. Football would be a lot more likely to happen this year if everyone realizes that masks are the current vaccine

  18. Malcolm Jenkins obviously doesn’t need the money so he can afford to sit out and not get paid. Goodfor him. I wish he would just do so and not dictate what the policy should be for everyone.

  19. The NFL should not proceed based only on trust. Test all players weekly, sit those that test positive for 3 weeks. If a player tests positive 3 times end his season.

  20. correctingerrors says:
    June 25, 2020 at 10:47 am
    Football would be a lot more likely to happen this year if everyone realizes that masks are the current vaccine

    ——

    Masks are the equivalent of TSA making people take their shoes off in the airport security line. They do nothing but give the sheep the impression that our officials are on top of things

  21. Love the people who say “I don’t want to get my parents sick, or what about grandma”.

    You have 3 options.
    1. Live your life.
    2. Shelter in place
    3. Live your life but have your parents shelter in place.

    If you’re so worried about it, stay at home, retire, or find a job that allows you to work around your concerns. I’m sure CNN is overpaying you Malcolm.

    Could you imagine how many of these athletes would struggle to make it a year without income? I’d welcome them back to reality, we all know 75% of them wouldn’t last a year despite all of them taking well over $300k, after taxes, last year.

  22. No problem. All of you sit out no pay. File for unemployment like the rest of us. Take off next year too just to be safe

  23. I got seriously sick back in October with same symptoms as Covid 19. Let me tell you it is not just the sniffles. It put me in the ER and I am a 30 year old male.

  24. I sure wish Malcolm would have stayed in Philly. It seems like every malcontent in the country ends up as a “spokesman” on CNN. Regardless of weather or not the NFL has a season….Malcolm should simply retire.

  25. jacksonrr3 says:
    June 25, 2020 at 11:16 am
    I got seriously sick back in October with same symptoms as Covid 19. Let me tell you it is not just the sniffles. It put me in the ER and I am a 30 year old male.

    ————–

    My wife and I got it too. It was an itchy throat and a runny nose for a few days. We’re in our 40s.

  26. jacksonrr3 says:
    June 25, 2020 at 11:16 am
    I got seriously sick back in October with same symptoms as Covid 19. Let me tell you it is not just the sniffles. It put me in the ER and I am a 30 year old male.

    —–

    And yet here you are….

  27. As we have seen in college programs, once these guys all get together there’s a breakout of the virus. Do you really think it will be any different for the NFL? The winner of the Super Bowl this year could be the team that does the best job of containing the virus. It’s entirely possible some team could get infected and half their starters catch it and be sidelined for who knows how long. The players are right to voice their concerns over their safety but I bet those same players will whine the loudest if/when the season is cancelled.

  28. Just about every European and Asian country squashed it by wearing masks and social distancing. America did not and is facing the consequences. Herd immunity isn’t necessary. For football to happen this year … we just needed to wear masks

  29. Wish i was rich and didnt have to work but alas i work to survive so mask no mask pandemic no pandemic i will be at work. In fact nfl if u r reading this if he is too scared to catch covid to go play i will play for a tenth of his salary and not complain about covid at all lol.

  30. “So the risk, you know, has to be really eliminated before we, before I would feel comfortable with going back.”
    ____________

    Well, so far 0.7% of Americans have been confirmed to have contracted the virus. I guess we need to get that to 0 before Malcolm will be comfortable.

  31. Wonder if he would say that if he knows that he won’t get a penny if he doesn’t show up to work. This guy needs to wake up and realize that he’s only an employee.
    If the players sit it out and the owners don’t pay then you’ll see this cry from the players at how unjust that is and how they should be paid for sitting at home.
    How the billionaires are treating athletes like possessions…blah blah blah

  32. There is no such thing as herd immunity on this topic. It’s a respiratory virus. There is no immunity for the flu, stomach flu, cold, or HIV. There is no proof whatsoever that after you contract the Coronavirus once, you can’t get infected again. Having said that, staying in your home and canceling 90 percent of activities is no way to live. If there is an NFL season, I can only see it working if all the teams play in Hawaii.

  33. Any way saints can void his contract? He has not yet practiced or played for the team yet.

  34. Just go hide for 10 years zero contact with anyone. Kids working at the grocery store have more backbone then you do.

  35. Vladimir_Trump says:
    June 25, 2020 at 10:09 am
    People who can’t be bothered to even wear a mask at a grocery store.

    What happens when Murica has no leadership.
    ————————————————————————————-
    Do you need a “leader” to understand that you need to take precautions for Covid-19? There are two groups of people in this country:
    1) Those that look to the government for all their answers.
    2) Those that rely on the power of the individual.

  36. No, returning to play on the “need to make money system” is what puts you at risk. Course since you’re already wealthy maybe it’s the “need to wealthier system.”

  37. correctingerrors says:

    June 25, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Just about every European and Asian country squashed it by wearing masks and social distancing. America did not and is facing the consequences. Herd immunity isn’t necessary. For football to happen this year … we just needed to wear masks

    European and Asian countries squashed it hahahahah, that’s why china is looking to quarantine its population once again and Europe did not squash it.

  38. Did Malcom stay at a Holiday Inn Express? He seems to be a master of all subjects.

  39. Well said Mr. Jenkins. Please collect your $600 check from the unemployment office each week, instead of your $200,000 a game/weekly check from the Saints.

  40. We’ll see how his attitude is when he’s not getting that weekly big paycheck. I bet it suddenly becomes essential then.

  41. progressiveshatethetruth2 says:
    June 25, 2020 at 1:14 pm
    There is no such thing as herd immunity on this topic. It’s a respiratory virus. There is no immunity for the flu, stomach flu, cold, or HIV. There is no proof whatsoever that after you contract the Coronavirus once, you can’t get infected again. Having said that, staying in your home and canceling 90 percent of activities is no way to live. If there is an NFL season, I can only see it working if all the teams play in Hawaii.

    ——

    You better tell this to all the Scientists looking for a vaccine. because if there is no immunity, then what is the point of a vaccine?

  42. Ive always known that the NFL was non-essential..i hope other fans remember the NFL is non-essential when the games are being played and the owners & players try to influence them…

  43. “wearing a cloth mask is not gonna stop a virus. Herd immunity is what you need so open everything up there has never been a vaccine for any strand of corona”

    Actually wearing masks is universally acknowledged to slow down the virus spread, if one of 2 parties is wearing a mask by 25%, if both are by 75%.

    And herd immunity? So you want to sacrifice 2 or 3 million Americans more at risk than you seem to think you are. Also, they tried that in Sweden, got to roughly 10% instead of the 70-80% needed and got in return the highest covid death rate per capita of anywhere.

    By the way #1 risk factor is obesity. Roughly 30% of Americans are obese including many Olinemen and Dlinemen. How many of those people do you propose to blithely sacrifice along with people with diabetes and breathing problems who would otherwise have many years left to live?

  44. @redclaw1314 says:
    June 25, 2020 at 9:50 am
    If Malcolm doesn’t want to play there would be no problem finding players who would gladly take his spot. Risk of a serious outcome from covid for his age group is very low. The NFL is a risky business even without covid.
    ===================================================================
    You’re inability to comprehend Malcolm’s statement speaks volumes about you and the others that gave a thumbs up to your ridiculous trumpism statement.First, he said they should be in a bubble or else they risk taking it home to their families, including his PARENTS. Second, I’m guessing his parents are not in his age group. With all the college football players that have tested positive have taken it home to their families too.

  45. So, don’t play if you are worried. Don’t earn your millions of dollars.

    Here is a hint though, nothing is going to happen to you beyond feeling bad for 3-4 days.

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