Sporting an olive-green suit and a white button-down shirt while Council members surrounded him, Malcolm Jenkins was handed the key to the city of Camden, a surreal moment he doesn't take for granted.
"This one is a huge honor for me," the Eagles' Pro Bowl safety said Monday as he stood at the podium. "As I look into this room, this is what inspires me."
Jenkins, 30, was awarded the key to the city for his foundation's outreach and his work with the city's youth. The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation's efforts are felt throughout his native New Jersey as well as Ohio, Louisiana, and the Philadelphia area.
Camden Mayor Frank Moran said he noticed Jenkins' philanthropic efforts when the player held an event at a local church last year.
"He is an individual who shares the philosophies and the visions of the city," Moran said. "He's just a good humanitarian, that's why we wanted to recognize him today."
Jenkins' foundation runs programs that serve youths and adults. They provide food, health and wellness assistance, and blood pressure screenings, among other services.
In addition to working as the founder and chairman of his foundation — and, of course, playing for the Eagles — the Piscataway-born Jenkins owns a men's clothing shop, Damari Savile. Jenkins credits his family and those around him for helping him balance it all.
"I have a really good team around me. My mom [Gwendolyn Jenkins] is the president of the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation and is really our feet on the ground to be able to put all of our events on and all those things together," Jenkins said. "We've got great volunteers and great support from the community. A lot of the things people see are bigger than just me. There's a lot of people that support the ideas that we have and really allow me to be able to do all of these things."
The safety is a founder of the Players Coalition, a group of NFL players who seek to fight social injustice. In May, the group of 90-plus players negotiated a $90 million partnership with the NFL to combat social and racial inequality.
In addition, Jenkins has left his mark through the "Let's Listen Together" campaign, a league-player partnership that helped bring such issues as police brutality and racial bias to the forefront in advertisements and videos.
"Football and fandom is one thing, but the ability to actually affect people's lives and help people is a whole different thing," Jenkins said. "So to be able to take all that I've earned on the field and translate that into social capital and be able to use that leverage and influence to bring resources to people, it's something I'm very proud of."
In 10 seasons in the NFL, Jenkins has touched as many lives off the field as he has on it.
"What I appreciate, as a mayor, [is] him standing up for the social issues nationally," Moran said. "Him standing up for the rights of the underserved. I just thought it was fitting for him and it will go down in the history of the city of Camden that once there was an individual by the name of Malcolm Jenkins who received the key to the city for these specific reasons."