Updated: Thursday, 10:44 a.m.
The NFL’s new policy that aims to eliminate on-field demonstrations during the playing of the national anthem has been the biggest news of the day.
On Wednesday evening, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie released the following statement:
I have always believed it is the responsibility of sports teams to be very proactive in our communities. In this great country of ours, there are so many people who are hurting and marginalized, which is why I am proud of our players for continuously working to influence positive change. Their words and actions have demonstrated not only that they have a great deal of respect for our country, but also that they are committed to finding productive ways to fight social injustice, poverty and other societal issues that are important to all of us. We must continue to work together in creative and dynamic ways to make our communities stronger and better with equal opportunities for all.
Lurie is considered one of the more socially aware owners in the NFL and his players have been very appreciative of his support in the past. Lurie even joined his team on the field during this season in September after President Donald Trump publicly said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now.'"
But this statement doesn’t really answer any questions.
While it’s noteworthy that Lurie is proud of players who fight for positive change and at least he mentioned the reason players are protesting in the first place, the Eagles’ owner didn’t address any specifics about how the Eagles will address the new anthem policy and possible fines that could be levied by the NFL to the Eagles. Nor did Lurie address if or how the Eagles would discipline players now that the power to do so is in their hands.
In fact, Lurie didn’t specifically mention the anthem or protests at all.
It was first reported that the policy passed unanimously, but then it was revealed that 49ers owner Jed York abstained from the vote. A league spokesman told NBC Sports Philadelphia that York was the only owner to abstain and the others all voted for the new policy. That includes Lurie.
Earlier in the day, Jets chairman Christopher Johnson said his team would support any players who wanted to protest during the anthem and would not fine them.
Lurie’s statement fell short of answering some important questions.