Malcolm Jenkins has undoubtedly been outspoken throughout his career, and even more so since rejoining the New Orleans Saints. The NBA and MLB are going to restart their seasons this summer, with the NFL beginning play in the early fall. Jenkins wants to play football just as much as the rest of the players in the league, but he does not believe risking anyone’s health is worth getting on the field.
On Thursday, the NFL team owners had a video conference meeting to discuss the 2020 season. Earlier in the day, the league canceled the Hall of Fame Game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys due to coronavirus concerns.
The owners met to discuss preparations for the season and how things will transpire to prevent further spread of COVID-19. The NBA will restart its season at Walt Disney World and remain contained in a “bubble” to avoid as much exposure as possible.
Jenkins addressed the situation of the NFL’s season, and he said that it isn’t possible for them to do the same thing. With more than 2,000 players, coaches, and staff members, the NFL can’t possibly find one centralized location which will keep them safe.
JUST NOW: "Football is a nonessential business and so we don't need to do it. So the risk, you know, has to be really eliminated before we — before I would feel comfortable with going back. "
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) June 25, 2020
While speaking with CNN on Thursday, Jenkins said that football is a “nonessential business” that doesn’t need to happen right now. Without having the same type of control that the NBA will, NFL players would have to rely on the “honor system” and hope others are being truthful.
Jenkins said that it’s hard to rely on others to be honest about social distancing and taking the proper precautions.
As transcribed by ESPN, the Saints’ safety feels football should wait until there can be better-organized health standards.
“And I think until we get to the point where we have protocols in place, and until we get to a place as a country where we feel safe doing it, we have to understand that football is a nonessential business. And so we don’t need to do it. And so the risk has to be really eliminated before we — before I — would feel comfortable with going back.”
The NFL is planning on having a full regular season and postseason, but there hasn’t been any official word on the preseason. Teams will report to training camp in late July, and the schedule has already been changed. Five international games that were going to be played between Mexico City and London won’t take place this season.
All teams must follow the strict health protocols that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell put forth, but Jenkins still feels that the games can wait.