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December 12, 2019

Malcolm Jenkins is the Eagles' 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee

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1250922_Eagles_Lions_Malcolm_Jenkins_Kate_Frese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Former Eagles safety Malcom Jenkins.

Malcolm Jenkins was named the Eagles' 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee Thursday, the second time in three years that Jenkins has been tapped as the team's representative.

Jenkins, who was also the team's nominee in 2017, took on a leadership role within the Eagles' organization early during his time in Philadelphia, and has used his platform to advocate for criminal justice reform, both locally and nationally

He's worked with politicians at the State Capitol in Harrisburg from both sides of the aisle, as well as celebrities like Philly rapper and activist Meek Mill, to push for probation reform.

Jenkins also organizes through his charitable foundation, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, to provide more than $130,000 in scholarships to college-bound senior high school students in under-resourced communities, and to provide thousands of people with necessary food and health products through his Get Ready Fests in Columbus and Philadelphia, among other events and initiatives.

"When it comes to social justice, and the issues that plague our country, I wanted my contribution to be more than just social media and hashtags and retweets," Jenkins said in a statement on the Eagles' website Thursday. "I wanted to really become part of the solution and use my influence and leverage to really make some change. And if there's one thing I know about the sport of football is that it brings people together, whether it's in the stands or it's in a locker room, people from all walks of life are able to come together."

Each team across the NFL names one player as their respective Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner, which nominates that player for the larger NFL-wide award, which is "bestowed upon a player who has shown exceptional character and work off the football field as well as on".

The Eagles have a strong history with the award, which dates back to 1970. Last year, Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long won the award in his final season as a pro football playerBefore that, Troy Vincent (2002) and Harold Carmichael (1980) won the award. Only four teams — the Bears (5), the Chiefs (5), the Steelers (4), and the Chargers (4) — have had players win the award more times than the Eagles.

The Eagles, currently 6-7 and tied for first place in the NFC East, face Washington on Dec. 15.

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