Jeffrey Lurie: National Anthem Protestors Are Not 'Very Respectful'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22:  Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on prior to the game against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who bristled at the notion former Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL, has spoken out against the free-agent quarterback's method of protest.

"I don’t think anybody who is protesting the national anthem … is very respectful," Lurie said in a column from Marcus Hayes of Philly.com. "If that's all their platform is, is to protest the national anthem, then what's the proactive nature of it?"

Lurie also urged for proactiveness from those protesting since the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback began his protest last season. Hayes' column describes some of Kaepernick's actions, most notably wearing socks depicting police as pigs, as "just being provocative."

It's unclear if that's the thought of the author or that of Lurie.

"Anybody who wants to do proactive things, to try to reverse social injustice, I’m all in favor of. It has to be respectful," Lurie said. "It certainly has to respect the military and the people that serve, the women and men that serve our country, emergency responders, whoever that is."

The characterization of the comments drew the ire of the Eagles, who posted the transcript in full after political activist Shaun King criticized Lurie. The full transcript of the quotes do not show Lurie insinuating Kaepernick is not being proactive in social causes. When asked by King whether the team "rejects" the tone of the piece by Hayes, the team said they will "let the quotes speak for themselves."

Lurie did, however, make a direct comparison between potentially signing Kaepernick and the team's 2009 signing of Michael Vick. 

"With Michael Vick, there was a complete vetting of: 'How is he as a teammate? What is his character? What is his potential? What is his football intelligence? Can he be a backup?'"

Vick spent 21 months in prison after funding and helping run a dogfighting ring. Kaepernick has pledged $1 million to social causes, $900,000 of which he has already donated. He has also held multiple camps for underprivileged youths through his Know Your Rights platform in order to "raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instruction to properly interact with law enforcement."

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