Rodney McLeod - Eagles - 2020 Man of the year nominee

Rodney McLeod - MOTY Nominee - Eagles - Profile Hero

Rodney McLeod

SAFETY

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Demonstrates Excellence on The Field

Since joining the Eagles in 2016, Rodney McLeod has demonstrated a strong and consistent on-field performance. Most notably, McLeod is one of only two NFL safeties with 10+ interceptions (14) and 10+ forced fumbles (11) since the 2013 season, joining former teammate Malcolm Jenkins (13 INTs, 14 FFs). He has also produced three career seasons with 100+ tackles, along with three seasons with10+ passes defensed. In 2019, McLeod ranked second on the team with 108 tackles – his third season with 100+ tackles – while also registering 10 passes defensed, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one sack. In 2017, he helped lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory behind 78 tackles (4th on team), 11 passes defensed, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. In his four full seasons in Philadelphia (2016-19), the Eagles have posted a 38-26 regular-season record, while capturing two division titles (2017, 2019), a conference championship (2017) and a Super Bowl LII victory (2017).

Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts this Year

2020 has been a year full of challenges that no one could have predicted, with COVID-19 disrupting communities across the globe, especially those in under-resourced areas. Rodney saw the effects of the pandemic on vulnerable communities in the Philadelphia region and across the nation, and in response, founded the Change Our Future Foundation with his wife, Erika. The Foundation was designed to empower people through education, advocacy, and awareness in the areas of youth development, healthy lifestyles, and community enrichment. Through Change Our Future, Rodney is dedicated to collaboratively eliminating barriers seen in healthcare, education, and civic engagement by advancing programs, opportunities and resources that give youth, families, and communities a path toward a healthy and hopeful future. Through the Change Our Future Foundation, he has already established many signature campaigns and programs. Highlights include: • Making its first donation – $25,000 – to Philabundance, a Philadelphia-area food bank, to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic in early April. • The Rise Up for Research campaign is a fundraising initiative to help defeat cancer. Change Our Future donates $1,000 toward cancer research for every interception, forced fumble, sack, or tackle for a loss that McLeod makes during the NFL season. • The My Voice My Vote campaign was designed to encourage eligible voters to get registered and make their voices heard in the 2020 presidential election. • In partnership with WHYY, the Foundation established the Game Changers campaign to build a brighter future and better tomorrow by supporting the education, empowerment and development of today's youth leaders. Over the next two years, the Game Changers campaign will provide 8,000-10,000 children and youth in the Philadelphia region with educational programs that focus on social justice, Black history curriculum for students and schools, and expanding internships in media pathway programs for high school students. • While COVID-19 disrupted many opportunities for youth engagement and participation in team sports and activities, Rodney partnered with the NFL, Boys and Girls Club of America, and WHYY to host Change Our Future's first ever virtual football camp in June 2020. The mission of the annual youth football camp is to teach student-athletes proper technique, while imparting important values such as character, accountability, and leadership so that youth reach their full potential. The Elevate Black History program is designed to enhance the Black history curriculum in classrooms across the region, and eventually across the nation, through innovative opportunities and viable experiences that bring exposure, and give youth an advantage both inside and outside of the classroom. Rodney's efforts have not gone unnoticed and have garnered media attention both regionally and nationally. In the words of the McLeods' themselves: "Making plays throughout the community gives us a tremendous sense of joy and gratitude. Impacting the lives of others is one of the highest honors we can all strive to achieve." He was one of the first Philadelphia athletes to step up and support healthcare workers on the front-line battling COVID-19. In April, he and his wife delivered pizzas and salads to workers at the COVID-19 testing site at the University of Pennsylvania. They also spent time on a Zoom call to recognize the workers for their bravery and sent autographed mini helmets as a 'thank you' for all they have done.

Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past

Rodney's unwavering commitment to social activism and giving back to his community has been a principal priority of his over the last several years. Since joining the Eagles in 2016, he has volunteered his time at numerous nonprofit organizations throughout the Philadelphia region. These organizations include the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA), an organization designed to bring together dietitians, chefs, drivers and volunteers to cook and deliver nutrient-rich, medically appropriate meals and provide nutrition counseling to those who are battling life-threatening illnesses; Ronald McDonald House, whose mission is to support families with sick children in their time of need; Rock to the Future, an organization that provides free music programs to the underserved youth of Philadelphia; Laurel House, an agency dedicated to providing resources and advocating for victims of domestic violence, with the long-term vision of ending domestic violence in every life, home and community; Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a local organization dedicated to providing support and resources to those living with breast cancer and their caregivers; Big Brothers Big Sisters, an organization designed to positively impact children by fostering and protecting their potential; and of course, the Eagles Autism Foundation, which has raised over $9M for autism research and care since 2017. Rodney has always been a leader in the Eagles organization in participating in NFL initiatives, including Character Playbook, where he participates in events that educate students in the Philadelphia region about character development, and NFL Play 60, where he annually participates in events, including the Eagles Play 60 Field Day and the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

Demonstrates Consistency in Positive Character and Models a Lifestyle of Giving Back

Rodney McLeod has consistently used his platform to call out injustice and fight for systemic, long-term solutions. After the murder of George Floyd, and the protests that followed, Rodney took to his social media platforms to advocate for more equitable solutions and defending the right to peaceful protest. In McLeod's own words: "As a black man, it's been a painful and disturbing time throughout our nation and city; the ugly reminders of injustice and systemic racism will continue to haunt us as a country until we enact change. Peaceful protest, lifting our voices in solidarity, and civil engagement are all part of the change process. Defacing our communities only offers a shortcut to the progress we all want to see. I believe we as a city can rise out of this pivotal moment stronger, we have an opportunity to course-correct for our future's sake, and together, each of us can reflect the attitude necessary to be better and do better. I am encouraging us all to speak our peace." Calling attention to social injustice matters and systemic racism has always been an important priority to him. Rodney was a leading voice in establishing the Eagles Social Justice Leadership Council in 2018, which is comprised of a small collection of players and club executives aimed at identifying potential grant recipients and securing contributions to the Eagles Social Justice Fund. Built through one-to-one matching donations from players and the club, the Fund provides grants to organizations that work to reduce barriers to equal opportunity, with a specific focus on education, community and police relations, improving the criminal justice system, and other initiatives targeting poverty, racial equality, and workforce development in the Greater Philadelphia area. In just two years, the program has provided area-based organizations with more than $858,000 in funding. Rodney was named the NFLPA Community MVP during Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season for his philanthropic efforts in his community. As part of Change Our Future's "Everybody Eats Every Month" initiative, he distributed 40,000 pounds (2,000 boxes) of fresh food for families to Philadelphia's Share Food Program. Similar efforts have taken place every month during the 2020 NFL season to grant access to fresh groceries for those struggling to afford food due to COVID-19. He also provided polling information and opportunities for voter registration on site.

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