PHILADELPHIA – Football is important right up until it’s not.
Jalen Hurts is the QB1 for Philadelphia’s passion and that means an obligation to meet the media on the first day of on-field OTA work open to reporters.
And Hurts got all the football questions you might expect in such an environment but not before he used his platform to address a much bigger issue than escapist entertainment.
Hurts used the first half of his 15 minutes or so with the media to address gun violence, an epidemic across the nation, and perhaps even more so in Philadelphia.
Instead of waiting for questions about his never-ending quest for improvement or his chemistry with good friends A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, Hurts cobbled together his own lede with an opening statement.
“We have a lot of stuff going on in our world right now, a lot of unfortunate fateful things and events and deaths,” Hurts said. “When I sit back and think about all of that – what’s happened in Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa, whether it’s a grocery store, a hospital, an elementary school. That’s no place for fear.
“Fear doesn’t belong in those places.”
— John McMullen (@JFMcMullen) June 4, 2022
Fear, though, is a part of life for too many in modern America as dueling ideological camps with agendas shout about everything but actual solutions. Power is the goal of the politician and his lemmings while the common man seeking to flee the grift wonders where common sense migrated to.
The Eagles organization as a whole is observing June’s “Wear Orange” campaign that both honors the lives lost and those wounded by gun violence every year while also searching for answers. The team wore practice shirts emblazoned with orange numbers on Friday and will auction them off to raise funds for the cause.
Meanwhile, on June 6, the Philadelphia Police Department will hold a gun buyback event at Lincoln Financial Field from 2 to 6 p.m. Each person who turns in an unloaded firearm to police on-site will receive a $100 gift card funded by the Eagles and the Center for Violence Prevention.
“I’m just a guy that wants to stop violence,” star cornerback Darius Slay said. “I don’t know too much about the politics and the gun laws and all that stuff. I just know a lot of stuff going on with guns that should not be addressed with kids that age. I’m just trying to do what’s best for the world, and, right now, that’s not it.”
Brown took a similar slant.
“My opinion, I really want something to happen,” the lengthy WR said. “I don’t know what, but too many innocent people are losing their lives daily from mass shootings, you know. My condolences go out to the lost ones who lost their lives and to be honest, I’m not into politics, but I just want to raise awareness to the situation.”
As a QB Hurts has the largest platform of all and understands the responsibility that accompanies that, especially in a city like Philadelphia where the Eagles have become perhaps the biggest shared experience that can cross any barrier be it generational, ideological, or racial.
“I think it’s my duty,” Hurts said when asked by JAKIB Sports about amplifying issues he’s passionate about. “It’s the least that I can do is try to bring awareness to it. We all know what’s going on. We see what’s going on, but it starts with every one of us. Change is made and everybody has their unique way to make change but ultimately what are you doing to try to influence the right things to be done?”
Hurts is also keenly aware of what football has done for him in life and is attempting to give back to the communities that have given so much to him.
“I think one thing that’s been on my heart is really just appreciate everything you have, why you have it, because these are tough times we’re really living in,” he said. “We all get to come here, come to work, blessed for an opportunity to come to work, but outside of this workplace, there’s real things going on in the world.”
— John McMullen (@JFMcMullen) June 3, 2022
-John McMullen covers the NFL and the Eagles for JAKIB Sports.