Rams' Jared Goff, Robert Woods strive to advance social justice conversation

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George Floyd's death reverberated throughout the world, the NFL and, closer to home, the Los Angeles Rams' virtual meeting room.

On Wednesday, 10 days after Rams coach Sean McVay held a video conference that urged players and coaches to speak about Floyd and personal experiences regarding racial issues, Rams quarterback Jared Goff and receiver Robert Woods said social justice awareness has been raised, and that it's time for the conversation to advance.

"Now is a call for action," Woods said during a video conference with reporters Wednesday. "Find ways to actually move in the community, move in our police reforms, sit down with our political leaders, different things other than -- I think take a knee, lock arms right now -- I think everyone's aware, now it's time to get involved, whatever skin color, job, profession, I think it's that time to take action."

Goff echoed San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who told Sports Illustrated last week that he was "impressed with the white QBs speaking up because those are voices that carry different weight than the black voices for some people ... which means the people who refuse to listen to a black athlete's perspective will hear the same thing said from a white athlete, but receive the message much differently."

"He's right," Goff said about Sherman. "The people of color have been fighting for this for so long and wanting change, and as a white person, as a white athlete, again you have an idea it's happening, but it truly doesn't hit you the way it does until something like this happens. I think for us to be able to speak out and make a stand, it can change things and it's important ... I want to be a part of that change."

Before Sherman's remarks, Goff released a statement on Instagram that read, in part, "I'll never pretend to understand the struggles that the Black community goes through daily in our country and never will know this struggle. It is my responsibility to educate myself and actively participate in advocating for the change our country desperately needs, in words and action."

When speaking to reporters, Woods touched on his experience involving police encounters. He said that as a kid growing up in L.A. he was questioned by police about attending a movie theater in other parts of town, that police would watch until his parents picked him up, or the police would kick him off the premises. Woods also said that he has been pulled over by police at gunpoint.

"Things like that, just -- you get numb to it," Woods said. "I feel like you almost just know how to react and know how to act in those situations."

Goff said it was powerful to hear the experiences of coaches and teammates.

"You do know this stuff exists, but hearing it from people that you love and teammates that you go to work with every single day, getting to hear it from their point of view, it changes things," Goff said.

Last season, Woods voiced a Los Angeles Police Department recruitment commercial that aired on L.A. sports radio. He said Wednesday that he still supports the cause.

"I still agree with people -- proper people need to join the forces," Woods said. "I think we need people of color, people who are respectable people, honest people, and to this day I still think we need to have correct police officers, but I do think we need to change some of the reforms."

Woods said he was uncertain whether the Rams, who have stated that they will discuss any form of on-field action as a team, will kneel during the national anthem.

"I personally feel like the kneeling was an awareness thing. I don't know what we will do," Woods said. "I think the biggest thing right now is to try to have action, whether it's going down and voting, encouraging others to vote."

Woods said he has signed a letter that would be sent to politicians about police reform.