PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On Sunday, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie held a wide-ranging press conference where he hit on what he called the two pandemics — COVID-19 and systemic racism.
“There’s so much pain both in our country and around the world, and obviously we’re going through two terrible, terrible pandemics — one that’s existed for the history of our entire country, the pandemic of systemic racism, violence to minorities, oppression, all that kind of activities that have been part of our history; and obviously the once-in-the-last-100-years health pandemic that’s been devastating, as well,” Lurie said.
“This has been going on for far, far too long, and it's our history.” – Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie pic.twitter.com/lANG0bd42y
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 31, 2020
Following weeks of protest amid NBA, WNBA, MLB and NHL players, Lurie says he is supportive of whatever the Eagles decide to do in protest of police brutality and social injustice.
“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 said. “And if we have to sacrifice, we have to sacrifice. But I guess 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 is going to have action involved with it.”
Lurie says he’s seen a “sea change” when it comes to social justice in the NFL over the last few years.
“I see a league that wants to be as proactive as possible,” Lurie said. “I’ve seen this for a couple years now. I think it’s increasing, and it’s really — it’s eye-opening in a great way. I just think you’ve got a lot of owners and a lot of league people that are completely in back of trying to be agents for change and helping the solution, and listen to the players. That’s a sea change over the last couple years, and I’m really happy about it.”
Lurie also talked about making lasting changes in the community, including turning Lincoln Financial Field into a polling place.
“We’re also gonna close our offices that day. We encouraged also, our staff to be volunteers in the pre-polling in terms of registration or any help we can be to maximize people’s ease of voting, no matter how they’re gonna vote. We want to see that happen,” Lurie said.