A number of Eagles players, current and former, have spoken up in the weeks since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis and protests against institutional racism and police brutality swept across the nation, including here in Philadelphia.
One player who took to the streets alongside Philadelphia residents was safety Rodney McLeod, who protested in Center City, as did former Eagles safty Malcolm Jenkins.
Jenkins became the team's de facto leader on societal issues during his time in Philly, but with Jenkins leaving the Eagles this offseason, McLeod said this week that he's trying to take the lead and be an agent for change.
And that includes in his own (virtual) locker room.
McLeod appeared on NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Wednesday to talk about his role in the protests, and his conversations with teammates amid the ongoing protests:
(Part 1) @Eagles S @Rodney_McLeod4 joined #GMFB to talk about social justice & racial inequality, his leadership role in the locker room, @MalcolmJenkins, and more! pic.twitter.com/6hfDSOiagn— GMFB (@gmfb) June 17, 2020
The ninth-year safety said he's spoken to a number of Eagles, but one conversation in particular stuck out:
I had conversations with guys like Carson, Zach Ertz, [Jason] Kelce, Jake Elliott, and Dallas Goedert, and two guys who we all know have spoken out in a very powerful way and made statements were Zach Ertz and Carson. And I challenged them to not have their voices end there, to now take action. One thing I observed from them was their willingness to listen, and also being eager to learn more, to get out there in the front lines, to be a participant, and to stand alongside their brothers like myself.
I had a very candid conversation with Dallas Goedert where he told me his first encounter with an African-American man was in college. It was mind-blowing for me to hear him say that, to think that neighborhoods or people's upbringings exist, because I come from a different background, where I've seen all different types of races, and I've encountered them all, and shared experiences with them. So you have to think that there are plenty of Dallas Goederts out there who, unfortunately, don't get the opportunity to experience the African-American man, and when they do, what is their perspective? How has that race been portrayed, either through the news or what they see on television, or what they're talking about in their homes?
That's quite a detail from Goedert. The 25-year-old tight end grew up in Britton, South Dakota, a small town with a population just over 1,200 and an overwhelmingly white demographic breakdown, so it makes sense.
McLeod, on the other hand, grew up around Clinton, Maryland, a town of over 30,000 with a majority African-American population.
It's really cool to see Eagles players of different backgrounds and upbringings coming together and having important conversations as a team during such a unique moment.
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