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October 24, 2017

Eagles players push Pa. lawmakers for criminal justice reform

Fresh off a 10-point defeat of the Washington Redskins on Monday night, a trio of Eagles players rose early Tuesday and headed to Harrisburg to lobby for criminal justice reform.

Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long and Torrey Smith are involved with The Players Coalition, a group of NFL players who advocate for reforms to Pennsylvania's criminal justice system.

The players talked with state lawmakers about the proposed Clean Slate Act, a bill that would automatically seal certain nonviolent misdemeanor convictions for those who stay crime-free for the following 10 years.

The legislation passed through the state Senate in June and awaits approval in the House.

Proponents like Jenkins say it would make it easier for low-level offenders to lead a normal life.

Jenkins told ABC News that his brother was convicted of a felony marijuana possession charge at 20 years old.

"Years later [he] hasn't re-offended, works very hard, has a family he tries to provide for but can't find steady employment," Jenkins told the news organization. "It helps his brother plays in the NFL. I know there are millions out there that don't have that luxury. Talking about losing opportunities for employment, housing, business loans. That American dream everyone is fighting for."

Jenkins and Long were also among those who met with NFL owners in New York last week about ways the league could work together on issued about which players have demonstrated during the national anthem before games.

The players also addressed topics such as ending mandatory minimum sentences and police transparency.

"These are real Americans, real people, real lives that live this day in and day out," Jenkins told NBC10. "And politics shouldn't slow it down. So that's what we are here to do. To use our voices and our influence to push things along in the right direction."