George Norcross reacted strongly Monday, a day after he was forcibly removed from Lincoln Financial Field for refusing to take down a U.S.-Israel flag – that was ripped away by stadium personnel.
The incident, captured on video, happened a few minutes into the second quarter of the Eagles’ game against the Dallas Cowboys. It’s unclear how long the flag (which was half U.S., half Israel) was hanging from Norcross’ suite.
Norcross, a long-time suite holder at the stadium, released the following statement Monday morning:
“Yesterday, I was forcibly removed and assaulted by the non-police security staff of Lincoln Financial Field and the Eagles/NFL for refusing to remove a 3′ x5′ American and Israeli flag I’d hung off the box I was sitting in. As a longtime passionate fan and season-ticket holder, I have watched the Eagles/NFL make clear and strong statements on numerous important civil justice issues and ethnic and world conflicts, including supporting the people of Ukraine, so as a strong supporter of Israel – a country which was viciously attacked by the terrorist group Hamas less than a month ago – I thought it was an important statement to make.
“It remains unclear why the Eagles/NFL believe that the US-Israeli flag should be deemed ‘obscene or indecent’ or otherwise inappropriate – which is what I was cited for – and should therefore be ripped down despite both issuing public statements strongly supporting Israel following the October 7th attacks. But as I consider whether to file suit against the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFL and the security company which yanked me out of the box and paraded me in front of thousands of fans, I urge other supporters of Israel to make their feelings known to the team and the NFL just as they have to universities like Penn and Harvard.
“There is no dispute: On Oct. 7, Hamas murdered innocent Israeli civilians, raped women, and butchered children, and continues to hold hostages. I believe Israel has the right to defend itself, just as the United States did following the September 11th attacks and I will remain a proud and vocal defender of its right to do so. Americans have the right to peacefully protest, but that does not include the right to threaten people with bodily harm or even death.”
As is the case at every stadium/arena, Lincoln Financial Field does not permit non-event related signs and banners and reserves the right to confiscate those signs.
Neither the Eagles, the NFL, nor officials from the stadium have issued a statement on the incident.
Former N.J. Gov. Chris Christie was in Norcross’ box at the time of the incident. It is unclear if he took any action.