Eagles' Jeffrey Lurie on USA's COVID-19 Efforts: 'We Are a Tragic Embarrassment'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2020

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie during a news conference in Philadelphia, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie didn't mince words when talking about the United States' response to the COVID-19 pandemic Sunday. 

"We have four percent of the world's population, 21 percent of the fatalities. There's a lot to figure out," he said, per Albert Breer of The MMQB. "... We're the wealthiest country in the world—21 percent of the deaths? We're an embarrassment. A tragic embarrassment."

To date, the United States has registered 5.9 million known cases of the coronavirus and 182,982 recorded deaths, per CNN.com. Both marks are the most in the world.  

Lurie said he wasn't the only NFL owner to be embarrassed by the United States in 2020:

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie says he's seen a "sea change" in his peers, and calls on them to be change agents. "They're embarrassed by our country, embarrassed and hurt."

Lurie also spoke about the history of systemic racism in the United States as protests continue around the country regarding racial discrimination and police brutality. 

"We're going through two terrible pandemics, one that has been going on since the founding of our country," Lurie said, per Bo Wulf of The Athletic. "... Systemic racism is our legacy as a country. We won't be able to change the bad until we own that we're responsible for it."

He also announced that Lincoln Financial Field would be opened as a polling place for November's presidential election:

Bo Wulf @Bo_Wulf

Lurie says Eagles will open LINC as a polling place, give employees day off, hope they take opportunity to volunteer. Notes PA is "epicenter" of this election. "Voting has ramifications."

Lurie also said the team wouldn't be laying off any employees and spoke about the impact the coronavirus could have on the 2020 season:

Zach Berman @ZBerm

Lurie: "We've made a point of not laying off anybody. That's been a very important point to me. I hope it's never necessary. "Of course there's significant economic impact. But what's the unemployment rate? ...I would rather worry about everyone else and not worry about us."

Zach Berman @ZBerm

Lurie said he's optimistic NFL season will take place, but he said the virus will determine whether it does or not. He said teams must also be flexible and understand they might have players missing in games and players changing positions.

Jimmy Kempski @JimmyKempski

Lurie remains hopeful that a safe way to have fans in the stands can be found at some point this season. Doubts fans will be allowed at any time in September, but maybe later in the season.

The Eagles will join the majority of NFL teams in not allowing fans at their home games to start the season. 

Finally, Lurie addressed Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson and his anti-Semitic social media posts in July, calling them "appalling and disgusting," per Wulf.

"I think he has understood the ramifications," Lurie added. "So far, everything we've asked him to do in terms of educating himself he has done. That has to continue."