Philadelphia Eagles Dispute George Norcross Assault Claim
The Democratic power broker says he was assaulted over a U.S.-Israeli flag. The Eagles tell a different story.
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Philadelphia Eagles Dispute George Norcross Assault Claim
On Sunday in South Philadelphia, an age-old drama was playing out between two of the NFL’s biggest rivals: the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. But what we didn’t know at the time was that a much different drama was playing out in the stands.
George Norcross, who has been the Democratic powerbroker in South Jersey for years, claimed in a written statement on Monday morning that security staff at Lincoln Financial Field “forcibly removed and assaulted” him because he refused to remove a U.S.-Israeli flag he’d hung off the box where he was sitting. He’s a longtime season-ticket holder.
“Americans have the right to peacefully protest,” Norcross said of the incident, “But that does not include the right to threaten people with bodily harm.” He added that he was reviewing his legal options and that he might sue the Eagles, the NFL, and the security company the team uses at the Linc.
A Twitter (sorry, I just can’t bring myself to call it X) user captured part of the moment on video:
— David Wildstein (@wildstein) November 6, 2023
I knew about this on Monday morning but decided to wait to share what Norcross had to say until I heard from the Eagles. And, sure enough, the Eagles tell a different story.
The team released a statement later in the day on Monday. It reads, in part:
We feel it necessary to articulate the facts of the matter involving Mr. Norcross at the stadium on Sunday. Mr. Norcross’ removal from the stadium had nothing to do with the content of his sign.
Our stadium policies expressly prohibit signage containing any kind of non-game messaging to be hung from a stadium suite. Stadium staff repeatedly asked Mr. Norcross to remove the sign he hung outside of the suite. Instead of complying with the request, Mr. Norcross became physically and verbally abusive. Mr. Norcross was ejected from the stadium only after his abuse toward numerous stadium 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.
Meanwhile, former New Jersey governor, noted beach-closer and current presidential candidate Chris Christie, who should be disqualified from the White House just for being an ardent Dallas Cowboys fan, was sitting with Norcross in the box. And while his good buddy George was having it out with security, Christie reportedly sat by, perfectly mum.
Penn Prez Responds to Antisemitic Threats
University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill has been under fire for weeks amid mounting pressure and growing donor boycotts surrounding Penn’s handling of a Palestinian cultural event on campus shortly before events in the Middle East began spinning out of control.
Then on Monday, Magill learned that some Penn staffers received antisemitic emails threatening Penn’s Jewish community. In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Magill said that an investigation was underway and that the FBI had been notified, though no “credible threat” had been found. She explained that Penn’s own police force was increasing security throughout the campus in light of the emails.
“The perniciousness of antisemitic acts on our campus is causing deep hurt and fear for our Jewish students, faculty, and staff and shaking their sense of safety and belonging at Penn,” Magill wrote. “This is intolerable. I condemn personally these vicious and hateful antisemitic acts and words.”
It’s Election Day!
Yeah, Cherelle Parker is a shoo-in for mayor. But there’s plenty of other stuff you need to vote on.
One particularly interesting battle in Philadelphia is in City Council at-large, which has a total of seven seats. Because Democrats hold an overwhelming majority in Philadelphia, five of those seats are always held by Dems. But the law requires that two of the seats go to non-majority candidates.
For many years, that meant Republicans were more or less guaranteed two seats. But the Working Families Party has been shaking things up. Councilmember Kendra Brooks, a Working Families candidate who is up for reelection today, pried one of those seats from the GOP the last time around. She’s joined on the ballot by Working Families Party member Nicolas O’Rourke, who is looking to secure the second seat, which would completely eliminate Republicans from the equation. (O’Rourke ran in the last election and came up just short.) The question is, is anti-Republican sentiment strong enough to make it happen? We’ll know soon enough.
For more on this and everything else you need to know on Election Day, check our comprehensive guide here.
Last week, I told you that the Philly-bred actor Kevin Bacon had gotten involved in the search for missing Pennsylvania pig Kevin Bacon, asking the public’s help to track down the swine. Good news: Kevin Bacon the pig is back home! No word on how long until Kevin Bacon the pig becomes, well, bacon.
By the Numbers
50: Years since the Philadelphia Orchestra toured China. They returned on Tuesday for a historic visit.
$9.1 million: Settlement reached between the city and the man wrongfully convicted for killing a four-year-old girl who disappeared in 1988. He spent 28 years in prison before Larry Krasner’s office exonerated him.
0: Reasons you need a car to go leaf-peeping, assuming you follow Billy Penn’s guide to leaf-peeping via SEPTA.
And from the Career-Night Sports Desk …
The Sixers took on the Wizards last night in our house, in the next-to-last game of their lengthy home stand. There was some sloppy (or maybe nervous?) ball-handling on our part at the start, but a Maxey three cut Washington’s lead to 13-11 five minutes in. He followed that with a nifty block. Behind a hot Daniel Gafford, though, the Wizards stretched it back out.
Nic Batum, here courtesy of the Harden trade, made his Sixers debut with five left in the quarter, and the team promptly tied it up and then took the lead on a De’Anthony Melton shot. Joel Embiid got hit with an unsportsmanlike call that took away a basket and gave the Wizards a technical-foul shot in a confusing mess of calls. Batum hit his first shot for Philly, a corner three, and then another — oui, oui! End of the quarter: 33-24 us.
Batum hit his third straight to start the second quarter and nailed his fourth after a lengthy round of bounce. He had 11 points in six minutes, and we were up 16 two minutes in. (James Harden was making his Clippers debut simultaneously, which made social media … interesting.) Kelly Oubre Jr. had a great block, celebrated a tad, and got T’d up for it, but there wasn’t any stopping this team. At the half: 75-58 Sixers.
More of the same in the third; Embiid had 30 points and 10 rebounds just four minutes in. The Wizards tried to crawl back in, slicing the lead down gradually, but that ended when our starters returned. Um. Embiid had 48 by the end of the third. Players were having fun, and so was the home crowd. After his record-setting third-quarter performance, Embiid sat for the entire fourth quarter.
Most points in a quarter without a miss, since 1996-97:
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) November 7, 2023
Lots of playing time for the bench, which is nice. Final: 146(!)-128. Yikes! Five in a row — play that song!
This and That:
Eagles fans, enjoy this masterful moment from Art But Make It Sports:
The Intervention of the Sabine Women, by Jacques-Louis David, 1796-99, 📸 by Hunter Martin pic.twitter.com/4mFHz97vIV
— ArtButMakeItSports (@ArtButSports) November 6, 2023
And in Phillies news, Zack Wheeler was awarded the pitchers’ Golden Glove.
The Flyers play tonight.
And in College Hoops?
Local men’s college basketball kicked off the season last night, and it was a sterling one for the Big Five (which is actually now Six), as Penn bled the John Jay Bloodhounds, 102-57; St. Joe’s Hawks pecked off the Lafayette Leopards, 81-60; the Villanova Wildcats had no worries vs. American U.’s Eagles, 90-63; and Temple’s Owls knocked off Maryland Eastern Shore’s Hawks, 85-65. Tonight, it’s Drexel against La Salle at the Palestra, with a 6:30 start.
All Philly Today sports coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.