Office Hours: Isaac Rochell, Founder, Local Human

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Welcome to a new episode of Office Hours: a podcast with Front Office Sports CEO Adam White and figures from the sports industry. This season is focused on athletes, both current and retired, who have found success in business endeavors off the field.

On today’s episode, we’re joined by Isaac Rochell, Los Angeles Chargers defensive end and founder of apparel company Local Human.

A product of Notre Dame, Rochell has used his time during quarantine to start Local Human, a one-to-one apparel company that he hopes becomes the next Toms.

Edited highlights appear below:

On life during quarantine (2:41)

Rochell: It’s kind of like a two, a two-headed monster.

One has been figuring out how I can be as productive as possible as a professional athlete.

He (Michael Badgely) and I set up a whole home gym here at our apartment complex, which has made it a lot easier to be productive. Then I’ve been finding different ways to get on fields and do fieldwork. So it’s kind of been a combination of those two things.

As I said, it’s a two-headed monster. So then on the other side, I’ve had time to really develop different initiatives to give back. And I think it’s something that I’ve done throughout my career, but getting everything really organized and making it happen is difficult while you’re playing. So now that I’ve had more time, I’ve been able to create an apparel company.

On his career off the field (6:13)

Rochell: I think I’ve always kind of had the competitive mindset wanting to be great. I think the more that I’ve been able to develop things off the field, it’s made me realize even more how important those goals I have on the field are. The better I become at football and the more productive I can be on the field, the more I can do off the field. It’s looking at it kind of in two ways. One, I want to be the best and then two, as that happens, leveraging that, to really make an impact in the community and in our country.

On the future of Local Human (14:20)

Rochell: I think what we do is we continue to build this foundation and then we build out the campaigns for through the season. It’s June, so we built out the campaigns through at least February. My portion of it’s going to be kinda done cause I’ve done a lot of the outreach side and talking to these different organizations to make things happen. That’s how we extend the longevity of the company. When the season hits, I can do some stuff as far as marketing and some of the PR stuff, but my focus is 1000000% on playing ball and trying to make this run to win the Super Bowl.

On the NFL taking a more visible stand against racial injustice (19:32)

Rochell: It’s unreal. Black people everywhere are calling for specific actions to be taken and it’s happening. And I think that is powerful. I think the NFL has done a good job of responding.

I’ve been proud of the Black athletes in the NFL in the way that they’ve stood up. I’ve been pleased with the response of the NFL and the way that they’ve handled things.

On the legacy he wants to leave behind (25:22)

Rochell: I think for me it would be that I was a great player and literally I’d want people to say I was a great player and I never stopped trying to impact the community.

Up to this point, I’ve been really consistent in doing that. And I think moving forward, as my role grows as a player in the NFL and on my team, I hope that my role off the field grows. I just want people to say I never stopped. When I’m done with my career, I can feel really confident about the efforts that I’ve put in.

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