Redemption sounds great on paper. It’s an idea that rolls off the tongue, a great film motif, and often promised more than carried out. But most of all, redemption is given sparingly and subjectively to whom is “deserving.”
However, redemption has been been given a new hope.
According to the New York Daily News, in continued work with the Players Coalition, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins has given Kempis Songster two tickets to Super Bowl LII this upcoming Sunday, February 4th.
This is after Songster was released from a maximum-security prison last month after serving 30 years behind bars.
It is important that we see the humanity in each other. Two men from different walks of life who are now on the same path to heal and advance their communities! Enjoy the game brother! #FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/0d0IrfvX70
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) January 24, 2018
Jenkins, who is a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for volunteer and charity work, has had a special interest in education, criminal justice, and law enforcement reform. He met Songster last year to better understand the criminal justice system and mass incarceration.
According to CBS Sports, the 45-year-old Songster, was convicted of murder when he was a teenager and was originally sentenced to mandatory life before having it shortened due to a Supreme Court ruling two years ago that said automatic life sentences for juveniles were unconstitutional.
Jenkins told New York Daily News:
“I didn’t know what, but I knew I wanted to do something to celebrate him coming home because I understood he really dedicated himself to a life of service and he’s trying to repay what he’s taken from society. I know he has some great ideas and we’re trying to accomplish the same thing when we talk about reform and healing our communities.”
Just one day after being released from prison on December 28th, Jenkins met Songster the very next day. He continued,
“Once I got the opportunity to get those tickets through the Man of the Year, he was the first person that popped in my mind. I know normally, people give those to kids or people who may be sick or who are well deserving, but I wanted to have an example that sometimes we can think outside the box and we can listen and hear from one another, so what better platform than the Super Bowl to show those examples?”
One can only hope that we all take a lesson from Jenkins about redemption and actually apply it as a practice in our everyday lives as we perceive our forever ever changing social world. Jenkins explained,
“Because he’s someone I’m going to lean on for insight of what’s going on, who has been through the process, knows what’s going on, how people are being affected,” he continued. “Those are the voices I want to amplify when we talk about trying to change it. You have to be able to engage and Kempis is a great example of that.”
Shout out to Malcolm Jenkins for thinking outside the box and for treating Songster, a man who society has forgotten about a long time ago, like a human being.