Fort Greene

Lloyd Rodriguez

Having played football all his life, Lloyd Rodriguez wanted his two sons to play football. When he and his wife could not find a good team, they started one of their own — the Brooklyn Pitbulls. 

Besides teaching his players discipline and sacrifice, Coach Lloyd uses football as a platform to support them. His goal is to help kids that are troubled get in the right direction, and to help the ones that are doing well to accelerate, while supporting the parents. 

To fully care for his players, Coach Lloyd prioritizes mental health and literacy. Through the Healthy Minds Project, all the Pitbulls staff are certified in youth mental health and first aid. Every practice, they also read to the players to assess if anyone may need help with literacy. 

“I’m not a hero. I’m just trying to be part of the community, and to be a part of the solution not the problem. If I can put some kids in the right direction, and to put the kids in the right direction in a better position, that’s what I’m trying to do. “ — Coach Lloyd

“Coach Lloyd is a righteous person, always striving to help children. They embraced my son, and the team was therapeutic for him. I’ve witnessed he and his wife come to the rescue of quite a few young men in the community.” — Octavia, Team Mom 

“Coach Lloyd is very supportive outside the program. They will help you out no matter what it is. Pitbulls is my family. I’m forever grateful.” — Buda, Team Mom

“They let you in. They work with you. They are very hospitable. They are continually going above and beyond for the safe haven of my child.” — Team Mom 

“Coach Lloyd is motivating, hardworking, loud, persistent and warming. He feels like a parent.” — Pitbulls player  

Portrait by

Matthew Cylinder

Matthew Cylinder is a New York based freelance photographer. He was born in Philadelphia and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and now lives and works in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. His studio practice pushes the boundaries of film and digital photography and always believes in collaborating with his subjects.

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