Less than a week ago, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said he would support his players in any way he could as they move from the dialogue phase to action in the fight against racial and social inequality.
The Eagles on Friday released a powerful black-and-white video of players pledging to use their platforms to impact several areas of racial inequality.
“We are hurt, angry and frustrated,” Brandon Graham said.
Nine Eagles — Graham, Rodney McLeod, Jason Kelce, Carson Wentz, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Malik Jackson, Zach Ertz, Jake Elliott — appear in the video.
Before the video explored their action plan, the players said the names of Black people who have been shot in recent months, including several by police. And then some Black Eagles in the video say it could be them or their family members.
McLeod, who has become a leader for the Eagles on issues of racial and social injustice, recently said the Eagles’ social justice committee was scheduled to meet to come up with an action plan. This video announces the beginning of that plan.
It’s worth watching the video on your own, but here are the four ways the Eagles pledged to make a difference:
- Supporting educational reform
- Making sure every team member is registered to vote and does vote
- Supporting positive transformation and more transparency in policing
- Supporting black businesses to help strengthen black economies and shrink the racial wealth gap
While Lurie has been supportive of his players, he was asked last week about his role as an NFL owner.
“To me, action is the most important,” Lurie said. “The conversations need to take place. They've always taken place with our team, going back a few years. We've always had a very close-knit atmosphere between our players and ownership and executives, and I think it's served us well and it continues to, because I trust our players. I trust the direction and their feelings of hurt and where they think we should go. I'm more of a listener and I'm somebody that wants to fully support with the resources of our organization and our league whatever actions that are deemed the most sustainable.
“So, if I can be a guide in terms of where I think things can be sustainable, then I'm there for them. But as I said to them, I think, yesterday or the day before in our meeting with the social justice committee was, ‘I'm here for you guys. You guys take the lead and you will have, as you always have had, our support.’ That's just the way we've naturally operated.
“I’m really pleased with how they are looking at these difficult, difficult issues and want to come up with something that's sustainable. Not be the first to come up with an action plan, but to come up with things that are really sustainable in the community, in the city, in the country. That's my role.”