Eagles' Jeffrey Lurie leads 'powerful' team meeting on race relations

DeMaurice Smith emphasizes sports' role in social activism (1:22)

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith says sports should do more than just provide entertainment, and he commends athletes who have taken a stance in hopes of change. (1:22)

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie opened a team discussion on racial issues along with coach Doug Pederson Monday amid nationwide unrest following the death of George Floyd in late May.

Lurie does not typically take part in the Eagles' virtual team meetings, but asked to be involved under these circumstances to both show his support and learn more about the players' experiences and emotions. He stressed that Eagles players are extended family, and families deal with things together.

What followed was what participants described as "powerful" dialogue led by the players, with wide receiver DeSean Jackson, quarterback Carson Wentz, safety Rodney McLeod, defensive tackle Malik Jackson and tight end Zach Ertz among those who addressed the team. Eagles coaches joined the conversation, as well.

DeSean Jackson's words proved particularly moving, prompting Jason Kelce to take to social media to post his thoughts.

Kicker Jake Elliott was also compelled to write a message, feeling "devastated for my brothers and everyone directly affected by racism in America."

Protests in Philadelphia began in earnest over the weekend in response to Floyd's death while in Minneapolis police custody.

Some local athletes, including former Eagles safety and Players Coalition co-founder Malcolm Jenkins, have participated in the demonstrations, calling for racial equality and an end to police brutality.

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Today during a peaceful protest we asked officers to take a knee in solidarity with the people that they are sworn to protect and serve. A small gesture that says a lot. It says that you are a servant of the people, it says that I denounce the violence of my peers, and most importantly, it acknowledges that the people are being HEARD! Thank you to this officer and the few others who acknowledged our pain and anger. What you do gives hope. Unfortunately these types of gestures and acknowledgments have been few and far between. Continue to be heard!Continue to resist! Continue to proclaim it until it is manifested .... BLACK LIVES MATTER! #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforahmaud #justiceforbreonnataylor

A post shared by Malcolm Jenkins (@malcolmjenkins27) on

Many others in the NFL have commented recently. Former Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, a college teammate and longtime friend of Colin Kaepernick's who kneeled for "The Star-Spangled Banner" before eight games during the 2016 season to protest excessive use of force by police and social injustice, said he hopes people are now ready for what his and Kaepernick's message was almost four years ago.

Also, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes posted a statement to his Twitter account Monday saying "the senseless murders that we have witnessed are wrong and cannot continue in our country."