Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins received two free tickets to Super Bowl LII as one of the league’s nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Jenkins is now gifting those tickets to Kempis Songster who was convicted for murder and who spent 30 years in prison.
According to a report, Songster was 15 at the time of the crime. Since, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that life sentences for juveniles are in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, Songster was set free on Dec. 28.
Jenkins, whose platform is criminal justice reform, had this to say about how why he is giving his tickets to Songster.
“A few weeks ago, I saw an article come across my text that he was getting out, and I wanted to do something special for him,” Jenkins said, per Evan Grossman of the 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.”
According to the report, Jenkins met Songster when he visited Graterford Prison last year. Songster was sentenced to life in 1988 after he and another teenager murdered a 17-year-old in a Philadelphia crack house.
Jenkins has worked the past two years trying to learn more about the criminal justice system as it pertains to his volunteer work involving social issues.