Jeffrey Lurie Delivers Strong Statement on Potential Eagles Boycott

Jeffrey Lurie, Jeffrey Lurie eagles

Getty Jeffrey Lurie has owned the Eagles for over 20 years and is hoping for the team's first-ever Super Bowl title.

Jeffrey Lurie quoted both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Chadwick Boseman during a nearly 48-minute Zoom call. At the end, he wanted his voice heard.

The self-assured Eagles owner wanted to let everyone know that he stands with his players and their continued fight against systemic racism and social injustice. It’s his fight, too, and he supports whatever they choose to do in terms of a potential boycott or protest. No “sacrifice” is too big, assuming there is a tangible action associated with it.

“I’m not concerned because I’m supportive of everything that’s involved in terms of trying to create attention and social change, and I’ve always been that way,” Lurie told reporters on Sunday. “If we have to sacrifice, we have to sacrifice. But my most important opportunity to discuss that would be what can we do that’s really effective, and it’s not simply a statement but something that’s going to have action involved with it.”

Lurie went on to praise the NBA for how they have come together as a group and taken a stand while proudly calling out the efforts of Muhammad Ali and John Carlos and the 1968 Olympics. Then he challenged the NFL, arguably the biggest fish in the professional sports pond, to take the lead in shaping future uncomfortable conversations.

“We should be out front leading the way,” Lurie said. “It’s nice to see that leagues and teams now in partnership company come together and show the country that these are really important issues, not just individuals, but these are team issues, company issues, business issues for corporations.”

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Lurie Asks: ‘What If That Was Kobe Bryant?’

Lurie wanted to bring the ongoing conversation on social injustice down to a more personal level, a tactic he does to “exacerbate the pain” and not be numb to it. He used the example of Kobe Bryant — a local hero and noted Eagles fan — and pondered out loud: What if Bryant had been George Floyd or Jacob Blake?

“What I tend to do, and it’s just personal, is I will take somebody that I either know or widely admire and I’ll put them into that face, and I’ll say, ‘Okay, what if that was Kobe Bryant? Somebody else we lost,” Lurie said. “What if that was Kobe Bryant whose breath was taken away, how would we feel?’ I go to places like that so that I can fully feel the ramifications of taking somebody’s life like that.”

When asked specifically about Colin Kaepernick and the first time he took a knee in 2016, Lurie didn’t duck the question or hide his emotions. The 68-year-old admitted that the NFL “probably didn’t listen well enough” after the league effectively (not officially) blackballed Kaepernick from playing.

“I think that the NFL probably didn’t listen well enough to what he was really saying because I think that we could have, as a league, listened more,” Lurie said. “That’s all. Listened more and not reacted in anything but a listening and learning mode.”

Rock the Vote at Lincoln Financial Field

The Eagles will offer up Lincoln Financial Field as a polling place if needed, per Lurie. The billionaire owner stressed the extreme importance of getting out and voting in this upcoming election, citing that only 60-percent of Americans are even registered to vote. Lurie was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election and has often criticized President Donald Trump.

“We’re dealing with some really important issues, and I think there’s a chance to really make a difference when it comes to that,” Lurie said, “and Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are obviously at the epicenter of potential outcomes in the election. I encourage everybody, and the Eagles will be 1,000 percent supportive of that effort. We’re also going to close our offices that day [Nov 3].”

The Linc should serve as a pretty cool polling place, especially with its seats empty to start the year. There will be no fans permitted to attend the season opener on Sept. 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After that date? Well, the Eagles are “optimistic” on E-A-G-L-E-S chants returning soon.

“I am optimistic that we’ll be able to play our games,” Lurie said. “So far, things are going awfully well in terms of the protocols. They’re very, very detailed, and rightly so. I’m optimistic, but I’m also really cognizant that the virus will control that. We will not control that.”

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