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Rodney McLeod Expects Eagles Teammates to Join Him in Pregame Demonstrations

Rodney McLeod, Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long
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Rodney McLeod said he thinks he will resume his demonstrations against racial injustice during the national anthem for the 2020 NFL season and he expects his Eagles teammates to join him. 

In an interview with ESPN’s Tim McManus, the Eagles’ safety said he isn’t exactly sure what form of demonstration he’ll use. 

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“I think I will in some capacity,” McLeod said. 

McLeod was then asked if the majority of his teammates will join him:  

I would believe so. I think it’s important for us to continue this and not let this pass us by. So let’s take the right steps and that means committing ourselves throughout the 2020 season and further until we get change.

While Malcolm Jenkins became one of the national faces of the movement, McLeod also protested with him in 2017 by also raising his fist in the air. Those protests almost stopped entirely league-wide in 2018 after the NFL and the Players Coalition brokered a deal that included nearly $90 million for programs to battle social inequality. 

But just last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted the NFL was wrong for not listening to its players back then. Goodell didn’t specifically mention Colin Kaepernick but did say the league will “encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.” 

That message from Goodell came the day after many black NFL superstars posted a video demanding the NFL condemn racism and admit fault for not listening to its players before. 

The NFL on Thursday pledged another $250 million over 10 years to combat systemic racism and said it will collaborate with players for criminal justice reform, police reforms and economic and educational advancement. 

In recent weeks, in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, McLeod has been vocal. As protests against police brutality were held across the country, he spoke up. 

Several of McLeod’s white teammates have also shown their support in recent weeks. Most notably, Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz posted public messages. It’s unclear if either of them will join demonstrations this season, but that support means something to McLeod. 

“I respect those guys for taking the time to want to learn but also to listen and then on top of that now take action,” he said to ESPN. “Regardless of the backlash they might get from people in the world. It’s bigger than that. They understand and they were sympathetic to the moment.”

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