NFL team owner calls US government response to racism and Covid-19 ‘tragic embarrassment’


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Protests have broken out across the country over the past few months, particularly after the police killing of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Meanwhile on Monday, the US topped six million cases of Covid-19, which has killed over 183,000 people.

Lurie, who called the racism that still afflicts the US one of the country’s two “pandemics,’ said that change will not happen until we “realize we’re responsible for it.”

“Now, systemic racism, it’s our legacy,” the 68-year-old NFL team owner said during his annual State of the Eagles address.

“When you write back on the 400 years of the United States, there’s a lot of wonderful, wonderful things that have taken place in our country, and we can all be proud of it.

“We can all love our country, but to love our country is to own our country, and that’s where I really believe strongly that we have to own the good and own the bad, and we won’t be able to change the bad until we realize we’re responsible for it.”

Lurie took charge of the Eagles in 1994, and led the team to its first Super Bowl title in 2017, when it beat the New England Patriots 41-33 at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.

The most recent protests demanding an end to police violence and systemic racism have been in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which is where Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot by police. Blake has undergone multiple surgeries and has been left paralyzed from the waist down.

US President Donald Trump announced he was planning to visit Kenosha, despite Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers writing a letter to him urging him to reconsider as the city continues to grapple with racial unrest following Blake’s shootinig.

However, Trump is not going to meet with Jacob Blake’s family in Wisconsin because they wanted to involve lawyers, he said at a media conference on Monday.

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Lurie holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after his teams 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots.

‘Needless deaths’

There have been at least 6,002,615 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 183,203 people have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Only two other countries in the world have over 1 million reported Covid-19 cases — Brazil with roughly 3,862,000 cases and India with 3,621,000 cases.

President Trump has defended the response of his administration, and has continued to urge states to reopen the nation’s businesses and schools.

Last week as he formally accepted the Republican renomination ahead of the November 3 election, Trump said: “We are meeting this challenge. We are delivering lifesaving therapies, and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner. We will defeat the virus, end the pandemic and emerge stronger than ever before.”

Although Lurie didn’t name Trump directly, the Eagles owner was very critical of the government’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We have to own the questions of leadership, we have to own the questions of policy, and there’s a lot to be discussed here on that in the future, That’s the reality I think we face. I’d rather just say it straight out from my heart” It’s heartbreaking,” said added.

“These are needless deaths. Needless. We should be similar to most countries on the planet, and yet, we are an embarrassment, and a tragic embarrassment.”

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Lurie on the sidelines against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

Voting

As the November elections fast approach, sports players and teams have been using their platforms to encourage and help people to vote.

Los Angeles Laker star LeBron James is spearheading a multimillion-dollar campaign to recruit poll workers in Black electoral districts.

In a statement released on Friday, the NBA and its players union jointly announced a commitment to establish a social justice coalition and voting initiatives. That includes using arenas as polling places and sharing voting information in advertisements during the playoffs.

In the NFL, the Houston Texans announced that its stadium, NRG Arena, will serve as election headquarters for Harris County and as a polling place.

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“The Houston Texans are partnering with NRG Park and the Harris County Clerk’s Office with the launch of their We Are Texans, We are Voters initiative,” the Texans organization said in a statement.

“This will encourage fans and the Houston community to do their civic duty and take part in the election process.”

Read more at CNN.com