Philadelphia Eagles deny NJ businessman was ejected from stadium over Israeli flag

The Philadelphia Eagles said on Monday that Norcross’ removal from the stadium ‘had nothing to do with the content of his sign.’

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

The Philadelphia Eagles have released a statement responding to the backlash the NFL team received after security forcibly ejected New Jersey businessman and Democratic power broker George Norcross from its game on Sunday night and also removed a US-Israeli flag he was displaying outside his box.

Norcross said he might sue the Eagles and the National Football League for kicking him out of Lincoln Financial Field in Pennsylvania — an action that he believes was done because of the banner that featured half the American flag and half the Israeli flag. Norcross was escorted out of his box by stadium security, who also removed his flag.

However, the Philadelphia Eagles said on Monday that Norcross’ removal from the stadium “had nothing to do with the content of his sign.” The team explained that Lincoln Financial Field does not permit non-event related displays to be hung from stadium suites, and that stadium staff “repeatedly” asked Norcross to remove his US-Israel flag.

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“Instead of complying with the request, Mr. Norcross became physically and verbally abusive,” the Eagles said. “Mr. Norcross was ejected from the stadium only after his abuse toward numerous staff members continued. He was escorted from the suite level to the stadium’s ejection point, just as anyone else would be after engaging in abusive behavior in violation of stadium policy.”

Following Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre in Israel — where 1,400 civilians were murdered and 240 others were taken hostage by the terrorist organization — the Eagles condemned the terrorist attacks, shared condolences with the victims and their families, and called for peace in the region.

Norcross said in a statement on Monday cited by the New Jersey Globe that he was “forcibly removed and assaulted” by the security staff of Lincoln Financial Field and the Eagles “for refusing to remove a 3′ x 5′ 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,” he added. “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 Oct. 7 attacks.”

Norcross said he is contemplating filing a lawsuit against the Eagles, the NFL, and the security company that “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,” he added, before reiterating his support for Israel during its ongoing war against Hamas.

“There is no dispute: On Oct. 7, Hamas murdered innocent Israeli civilians, raped woman, and butchered children, and continues to hold hostages,” he said. “I believe Israel has the right to defend itself, just as the United States did following the Sept. 11 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.”

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Norcross displayed a similar US-Israel flag at his tailgate event in the parking lot of Lincoln Financial Field earlier on Sunday, according to the New Jersey Globe.