George Norcross, a New Jersey Democratic power broker, was ejected from an Eagles game Sunday night after he displayed a banner that combined the American and Israeli flags from his luxury box.
Now Norcross, who was accompanied by a group that included Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie, is threatening to sue the Eagles, the NFL and a security company.
“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,” Norcross said in a statement.
Video of Norcross’ ejection, in which he could be seen arguing angrily with the staff of Lincoln Financial Field before being escorted from his box, spread quickly on social media Sunday night. Norcross claims he was “assaulted” by staff.
Lincoln Financial Field’s policy bars signs and banners “that are obscene or indecent, not event-related, potentially offensive to other patrons, capable of blocking the views of other fans or otherwise deemed dangerous or inappropriate by the Eagles are prohibited. They may not contain commercial messages, logos or political endorsements and may not be hung on the stadium structure.”
No other signs or banners are visible in the area around Norcross’ box. Norcross’ banner, which was not related to the game, hung on the stadium’s structure. But in his statement, Norcross said he was cited for the flag being “‘obscene or indecent’ or otherwise inappropriate.”
“[A]s 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,” Norcross said.
Norcross did not explain on what grounds he is considering suing. Representatives of the Eagles did not immediately respond to a call and email seeking comment.
An insurance executive from Camden County, Norcross has been a powerful political figure in New Jersey since the early 1990s, though he’s never held elected office. Despite their party differences, Norcross and Christie had a strong working relationship when Christie was governor of New Jersey, and Norcross’ power peaked during Christie’s administration.
However, Norcross — who is now a resident of Florida — has lost a significant amount of power following South Jersey’s political shift to the right during Donald Trump’s presidency and amid infighting party infighting with Gov. Phil Murphy and Democrats from the northern half of the state. Norcross told POLITICO in May that he was stepping back from statewide politics — a claim that was widely met with skepticism.
Norcross, who’s known to hold well-attended tailgate parties before Eagles games, in his statement doubled down on his support for Israel.
“There is no dispute: On October 7th, Hamas murdered innocent Israeli civilians, raped women, 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 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.”