It’s not everyday that you hear about a professional sports organization bail people out of jail, but that’s exactly what the Philadelphia Eagles did.
In a joint effort between the players and the team’s Social Justice Fund, they gave $50,000 to the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, an organization that helps those who can’t afford to bail themselves out. The money was given so the nine defendants could spend Thanksgiving with their families.
Plus, those same people will also take part in a resource fair to help gain employment, hosted by the Players Coalition and its founder, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins.
“The cash bail system punishes poverty and punishes people of color at a grossly disproportionate rate,” said Jenkins at a press conference.
“Some people say we need the system to make our community safe, but as you can see here with these groups, we have everything we need to make our community safer, when we decide to invest in people and wrap our arms around people, as opposed to locking them up,” he added.
According to reports, Philadelphia has some of the highest incarceration rates in the United States, and a University of Baltimore study shows the rate of guilty pleas are 13 percent higher for those who are detained before trial because they can’t bail themselves out.
“This should not be a country where you sit in jail because you are poor,” said District Attorney Larry Krasner, who worked with Jenkins, the Chief Public Defender and local community activists on the Thanksgiving bailout.