Raheem Morris proud of cousin Malcolm Jenkins’ football, activism

New Orleans Saints strong safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) celebrates his interception with outside linebacker Kwon Alexander (58), linebacker Craig Robertson (52) and free safety Marcus Williams (43) in the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
New Orleans Saints strong safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) celebrates his interception with outside linebacker Kwon Alexander (58), linebacker Craig Robertson (52) and free safety Marcus Williams (43) in the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Credit: Butch Dill

Credit: Butch Dill

Falcons coach Raheem Morris and Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins are related, but he won’t be pulling for his cousin Sunday.

The Falcons (3-6) face the Saints (7-2) at 1 p.m. at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

“Malcolm is very important to the Saints defense,” Morris said. “He’s also important to me. That’s my cousin. He’s a family member of mine. He’s somebody that I know really well. He’s a great player.”

Morris is from Newark, New Jersey and Jenkins from East Orange, New Jersey. They are related on the paternal side of Morris’ family.

“He had a great career at Ohio State,” Morris said.

The Saints jumped at the opportunity to re-sign Jenkins after his six-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jenkins, 32, was drafted by the Saints in the first round (14th overall) of the 2009 NFL draft. He played five seasons for the Saints and helped them win Super Bowl XLIV. He also helped the Eagles win Super Bowl LII.

He was able to win two Super Bowl rings, which I’m proud of him of,” Morris said. “I finally got a win over him last year when he was at the Eagles. I couldn’t wait to tell him about it and now he moved back to the Saints where he started his career, where he’s a vocal leader.”

Jenkins, a three-time Pro Bowler, has helped stabilize the Saints secondary.

He has started all nine games and made 51 tackles and has two interceptions.

Morris also is proud of the Jenkins’ social-justice work.

Jenkins has been involved in community service dating to when he pledged the Omega Psi Phi fraternity through Ohio State’s Iota Psi chapter (founded in 1926).

Early in his career, through a foundation he set up with mother, Gwendolyn, he started tackling the issue of gun-violence in New Orleans. He’s now one of the most active players in the league as co-founder of the Players Coalition, a group of NFL player activists that has expanded to other sports.

“He’s a very hands-on person in our social injustice in the National Football League,” Morris said. “He does a great job of leading his team. He does a great job of leading the organization. He does a great job as a role model for everybody in the National Football League when it comes to a lot of different things.”

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris discusses Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins (his cousin) and linebacker Demario Davis, one of the best in the league.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons’ next four games

Falcons at Saints at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22

Raiders at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29

Saints at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6

Falcons at Chargers at 4:25 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13

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