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Isaac Rochell & Teammates Talk "Powerful" Sunday at Protest


On-field workouts may not be happening due to the effects of COVID-19, but that isn't stopping Chargers players from putting in work off of it.

This past Sunday in Los Angeles, Isaac Rochell did just that along with teammates Trent Scott, Justin Jackson, Trey Pipkins and Forrest Lamp supporting a Black Lives Matter protest. 

"As coach Lynn said, I was tired of sitting back and watching," Scott reflected. "Like Isaac has said, the platform that we have and the voice we have, I thought it was paramount that we show our presence and just be active and hands-on (with) helping the cause right now."

Along with joining the movement, Rochell, with his company Local Human, an apparel brand with intention, and his teammates, passed out waters and snacks to those taking part in the protest.

"It was probably one of the most diverse groups I had ever been around which was cool for me to see," Rochell said. "It was powerful. I hadn't been around that many people at one time that were all pushing in the same direction. I mean maybe you see (the same energy) at a football game, but you have different fans. In this case, it was literally like tens of thousands of people all holding up Black Lives Matter signs. It was just really cool."

"It was breathtaking," Scott added. "Just so many people. So many people of different races with everyone coming together and fighting for one cause right now. That was probably the first time I had seen that. You look in the history books, and I feel like this was the first time you've seen (multiple races) stand for the same cause (with something like this.) It's definitely a huge step in the right direction for the change we're looking for."

Rochell, who prides himself on using his platform to give back was moved by what's transpired in this country over the last few weeks. Knowing that he can make a difference, he didn't want to sit on the proverbial sidelines anymore. 

And neither did a handful of his teammates like Scott alluded earlier.

"Football teams come from so many different cultures, backgrounds and races, but at the end of the day, we're all brothers," Lamp mentioned. "We're all family. For us to be able to go out there and be part of something bigger than ourselves and something that's been going on for a long time, meant a lot to me to be able to help my teammates. For a long time, it's just been the Black community that's been vocal about this. But Trent said, this is really the first time they've noticed different races coming out to help and show support."

"What it's done more than anything is challenge some of the ways that I think and some of the preconceived notions that I've had," Rochell added. "When I say challenged, it's either enhanced preconceived notions I've had, like some of the fears that I've had dealing with police officers. And also, seeing people from the opposite race stand up and use their voices. It's just been a really cool eye-opening experience for me. What I've been saying on social media is now that we've had these realizations, how can we put this into action?"

Besides helping on Sunday, one of the ways Rochell is taking action – and encouraging others to do the same – is by putting out a t-shirt through Local Human for people to purchase. All proceeds collected from sales of the "More Than A" tee will go to Campaign Zero, the United Negro College Fund, and the National Fair Housing Alliance.

Rochell believes this is a real sea change for social justice and change continues with taking action, having conversations and sharing a message. 

As his teammate Jackson attested a week ago, Rochell also attributes a lot of the movement's momentum to their peers, their generation not backing down.

"My biggest thing and where my faith really lies is in millennials," Rochell mentioned. "I feel like millennials get such a bad rap in different ways, but one thing millennials do, is we don't stop. (Sunday,) there were like tens of thousands of people and that was more than the previous week. It's just a very consistent push from people who are in this certain age range. It's hard for me to think that it won't continue. And that's why I think there will be change."

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