Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry galvanized the community Monday with a brief statement on National Anthem protests at NFL games, such as the Jaguars’ tilt in London.
“I stand and cover my heart for the pledge and the anthem. I think it’s stupid to do otherwise. The US Constitution protects the right for a lot of people to do a lot of stupid things,” was the part that people focused on.
Curry, who has co-branded with the Jaguars both individually and collectively, was asked for more detail Tuesday.
“I said what I have to say. You saw my statement yesterday,” Curry said, adding that he is focused on “storm recovery.”
Curry did fly back with the team from London after Sunday’s game, but it doesn’t appear the Mayor debated with players about the decision to kneel or not.
“We had a nice flight back,” Curry said. “I said all I have to say.”
For Curry, this issue is a political minefield, created after a President of his party whipped up the base at an Alabama political rally by imploring NFL owners to fire protesting players.
As a Republican Mayor who has co-branded with the team and owner Shad Khan early and often, the chasm between the position taken by Khan and the vast majority of NFL ownership and that of President Trump and his adherents is a no man’s land.
Curry has dealt with local blowback after various Trump blasts from the past.
The Mayor spent weeks defending his defense of President Trump declaring that he wanted the U.S. out of the Paris Accord on climate change.
And in 2016, Curry courted controversy by emceeing a Trump rally in Jacksonville; though his portion of the program was early in the evening, Curry took a lot of heat in the media and social media for participating.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars are taking a lot of hits from disgruntled fans in the wake of the protest, despite the biggest win of the Blake Bortles era; it will be interesting to see how anthem aggravation affects the box office when the Jaguars play at home again.