Talking points: Bears’ George McCaskey on orange jerseys, the anthem and more

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Bears chairman George McCaskey. (Sun-Times)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Bears chairman George McCaskey sat down with reporters after the NFL’s annual meetings concluded at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes on Wednesday. Here are some highlights:

Bears are going orange

The Bears’ alternate jerseys in 2018 will be orange, but McCaskey said he’s unsure about which game or games they’ll be worn in.


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“[The jerseys] that we last wore six years ago and famously wore for [former cornerback] Nathan Vasher’s 108-yard return — that jersey,” McCaskey said.

What resonates with him about the color?

“I don’t want to say throwback, but it is reminiscent of our uniform in the 1930s, when we had the then-record for consecutive regular-season wins, largely wearing orange jerseys,” McCaskey said.

Same outlook on anthem

Owners discussed the league’s national-anthem policy after the social-injustice protests led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Further discussions will be held during the league’s next meetings in May in Atlanta.

They unanimously approved matching funds for initiatives at a local level, including player support and participation.

“We’re really excited about [the approval] because it provides an opportunity for the players and the teams to collaborate and do something locally,” McCaskey said.

McCaskey, though, hasn’t changed his stance on protests during the anthem. Last year, he spoke to the Bears before they played the Steelers in Week 3 after he had discussions with outside linebacker Sam Acho.

The Bears were among several teams that locked arms during ‘‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’’

“We also said that we would support them in whatever they decided to do, and we strongly encouraged them that whatever they decided to do, to do it together, and that’s what they did,” McCaskey said.

Honoring Urlacher

McCaskey said he has had an “open invitation” for former linebacker Brian Urlacher for some time to honor him at Soldier Field.

He sounded optimistic that it will happen this year with Urlacher entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“We wanted it to be [earlier than] the year he got in, but that’s how it’s working out,” McCaskey said. “I’m hoping, at least for the presentation of his ring, we can get him over there.”

Loyola’s amazing run

McCaskey said the organization has been closely following Loyola’s run to the Final Four, including his mother, Virginia, the team’s matriarch.

“We were supposed to have dinner here the other night, and I said, ‘Mom, dinner’s at 5:30,’ ” McCaskey said. “She said, ‘Hmm, tipoff is at 6:09 p.m., so I think I’m going to get room service.’ ”

She’s also a big fan of Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt.

“Mom’s a little shyer than Sister Jean is, so I think she’d be happy to defer to Sister Jean,” McCaskey said.

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