Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins doesn’t approve of former Eagles teammate DeSean Jackson‘s comments this week, but he also doesn’t want to get bogged down in a problem he perceives as being not his own.
Jenkins posted an Instagram video in which he addressed Jackson’s anti-Semitic posts on social media.
“We gotta stay focused,” Jenkins said. “All of this back and forth that’s going on right now is a distraction. Comments were made, and they were wrong. Allow those who were impacted by it to voice their grievances.
“But we’ve got to stay focused. Because Breonna Taylor’s killers are still not arrested. We’re still fighting for justice. We’ve got a lot of work to do. And this ain’t it. Stay focused.”
The post also included a written caption in which he echoed the “stay-in-your-lane” nature of the video comments.
“We can honor the Jewish heritage and trauma while staying focused on what matters,” he wrote. “Jewish people aren’t our problem, and we aren’t their problem. Let’s not lose focus on what the problem truly is, and that’s that black lives still don’t matter in this country.
“Push this energy toward arresting and convicting the killers of Breonna Taylor and burning systemic racism to the ground.”
Jenkins has been one of the more passionate and effective advocates for social causes in the NFL, and he’s clearly preaching for a certain discipline of message so the causes dear to him aren’t lost in the moment-to-moment news cycle that renders yesterday’s injustices less relevant with every new crop.
But fighting for justice and equality for all isn’t a zero-sum game. It’s possible to be against anti-Semitism and racial discrimination at the same time, and dividing the causes into teams doesn’t seem to serve the larger goal.