Cardinals rookie QB Josh Rosen has some strong thoughts on climate change

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/ari" data-ylk="slk:Arizona Cardinals">Arizona Cardinals</a> quarterback <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/30980/" data-ylk="slk:Josh Rosen">Josh Rosen</a> (3) has spoken out about issues outside of football. (AP)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) has spoken out about issues outside of football. (AP)

NFL rookies are usually expected to be seen and not heard, but Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen doesn’t seem to care.

Rosen is an interesting person. We got a hint of that when he criticized the college athletics model. He said after he fell to 10th in the draft that there were “nine mistakes” before he was picked. He has a lot on his mind other than football, shown by his desire to help his home state of California after devastating fires there.

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With NFL players wearing different shoes for “My Cleats, My Cause” recently, maybe it shouldn’t be a big surprise that Rosen’s cleats were made of upcycled plastic that comes from the ocean.

It’s part of Rosen’s desire to bring attention to climate change, something that he discussed at length in a story with the Cardinals’ web site with the headline, “Josh Rosen Wants To Help Save The World.”

Josh Rosen is passionate about climate change

Most quarterbacks, and athletes in general, don’t get too heavy on serious topics, at least not in public interviews. That’s especially true for rookies. It’s understandable. They have jobs that require a lot of time and effort. Some just don’t want to deal with the backlash.

Rosen seems to want to take everything head on. If he has something to say, he’s going to say it. Rosen told Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals’ website that climate change is the issue that has his attention above all others. 

“Objectively,” Rosen told Odegard, “it is the most important. We’re getting close to a certain point where there is no turning back.”

Climate change is one of many controversial issues in the political sphere these days, but Rosen said its existence is “not even close to a question.” Rosen, who drives an electric car according to the story, doesn’t think he’s going to change anything but said he hopes he’ll inspire “other people who are a little more powerful and important than me” to take action. 

“Something crazy like 75 to 80 percent of the world’s population lives in coastal areas, so there’s going to be massive, massive mass migrations,” Rosen said, according to Odegard. “You think the refugee crisis is bad now? It’s only going to get worse. Famines are going to get worse. Island countries off the coast of Africa, they are literally going to disappear.

“The Earth will be fine. It’s just whether the Earth will be fine and have humans on it.”

Rosen’s cleats for “My Cause, My Cleats” were for Parley, an organization trying to save the oceans.

Rosen has had rocky rookie season

Rosen has had a bumpy rookie season, with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, but there are times he looks like a top-10 pick. The Cardinals should feel good about what he’s capable of with more experience.

As such, Rosen could be a key voice in the NFL for a long time to come. You won’t find many quarterbacks who are willing to speak out, like earlier this year when he pledged support for his teammates’ efforts to reform criminal justice – “A quarterback in this league,” Cardinals safety Tre Boston said in Odegard’s piece. “A white quarterback at that. … He’s been trying to be involved in that stuff, and we thank him.”).

The cliche is that millennials are unwilling to get involved in political and cultural change, but Rosen dispels that.

“I think a lot of kids are more aware, especially with social media, than they’ve ever been,” Rosen told Odegard. “You saw these school shootings, and the [expletive] students are starting to fight back now. I think it’s a general societal thing. In the past, social structures and leadership used to be very defined and clear-cut. Nowadays, people are starting to realize that a good idea is a good idea, regardless of where it comes from.”

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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