Eagles Form Social Justice Committee, Vote Coming on Anthem Protest

Rodney McLeod

Getty Eagles starting safety Rodney McLeod has taken leadership of the secondary and the Social Justice Committee in Philly.

The Eagles formed a Social Justice Committee to address issues pertaining to systemic racism and racial equality.

According to Rodney McLeod, the committee will meet on Friday to discuss how to handle the playing of the national anthem in Week 1. They will discuss whether to take a knee, stand up, raise a fist in solidarity or do something outside the box. The group will also engage in an open dialogue on how to raise their voices “in the right way” on hot-button topics like Jacob Blake, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

The leadership group is compromised of a cross-section of Eagles veterans, including McLeod, Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, DeSean Jackson, Malik Jackson, Avonte Maddox, and Jake Elliott — along with team owner Jeffery Lurie, GM Howie Roseman and special assistant Connor Barwin. This will mark their second official meeting of the year.

“It’s good to have open dialogues with all these guys coming from different backgrounds but we’re all putting our heads together to represent our team the best way that we can and to use our voices in the right way,” McLeod told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s going to be a tough conversation and I think the best part is we’re all open to hearing what’s best for our team and our organization, and that may mean us taking a knee, that may mean us raising our fists in solidarity, or we could take a whole different approach to shine light on a lot of these social injustice matters that exist in our country.”

The Social Justice Committee was started two years ago when McLeod got together with Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long and Nelson Agholor. After their departures, the 30-year-old safety decided to “do some more recruiting” and open it up to anyone who wanted to join. The energy and enthusiasm has been great within the group.

“I have a few ideas I’d like to bring to the table,” McLeod said, “and I’m sure whatever the decision it’ll be not only the best for our team but to continue this movement that we’ve been trying to do for so long, seeking change.”

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McLeod Wants to Be ‘Game-Changer’

McLeod has embraced the role of a social activist in Jenkins’ absence off the field. On it, the veteran free safety is less vocal but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. He leads by example and upholding the franchise’s “high standard” at the position is important to him.

“As a defensive back, you want to be a game-changer,” McLeod said. “And being a safety on this Eagles team and for this organization, that’s what safeties are known for.”

Unfortunately, McLeod has had to battle back from serious injuries in each of the last two offseasons. He was rehabbing from an MCL tear in his knee last offseason that forced him to miss 13 games in 2018. Prior to that, McLeod had a quadriceps issue that sidelined him down the stretch in 2017. Now he’s finally healthy and the Eagles rewarded him with a two-year, $12 million contract.

“For myself, I did feel like 2018 was going to be a breakout year for me,” McLeod said. “I felt good and unfortunately, I went down with an injury and then last year made a great push to get back there to my old self. Now with a full offseason to be able to dedicate to being able to get better rather than focusing on the injury, I feel a lot better. I feel smoother and things are looking good.”

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