Instead of kneeling, the Green Bay Packers joined arms and asked hometown fans at Lambeau Field to mimic them in a show of ‘freedom and unity’ during the National Anthem on Sept. 28.
We have a feeling tweets from Donald Trump, 71, should be coming any second now after QB Aaron Rodgers, 33, and the Green Bay Packers became the first team to ask FANS in the stands to join them in a statement of unity after a weekend of intense National Anthem protests. The Packers were playing at home against their NFC North rival, the Chicago Bears, on Sept. 28 and things at Lambeau Field turned into a big show of love and solidarity, as Packers players and coaches locked arms and invited fans to do the same. And guess what? Fans in the stands joined in! The team said it was about “freedom, equality, tolerance, understanding, and justice for those who have been unjustly treated, discriminated against or otherwise treated unfairly,” via a statement. No players from either side took a knee and chants of “USA USA” were heard at the end of The National Anthem.
“This is about equality,” Rodgers told ESPN on Sept. 26, ahead of the Thursday night primetime game. “This is about unity and love and growing together as a society and starting a conversation around something that may be a little bit uncomfortable for people.” As a kind gesture, number 12 gave away tickets that he would normally give fans on game day to police officers from the Green Bay Area.
Up until now, players and their coaches had been left to decide whether to make any sort of protests during the playing of the National Anthem, in regards to racial injustice in America. This escalated big time over the weekend of Sept. 23-24, when Trump sent out a whopping 14 tweets demanding everything from players who kneel to be fired, to calling the league unpatriotic and urging fans to boycott the NFL entirely. Ultimately, that only fueled the players’ urge to make their voices known more. In fact, entire teams lined up on Sunday with their arms locked, as a sign of solidarity during the anthem. Numerous players on their individual teams took knees, as opposed to the handful that had been occurring before Trump’s online rantings. NFL players taking a knee — see protest pics.
The taking a knee protest began during the 2016 NFL season with then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, 29. He originally sat on the bench before ending up on the field on a bended knee when the anthem was being played. And it all started to bring awareness to the fatal shootings of black people by white police officers in the months prior. He’s now found himself without a team in 2017, after the controversy he started. Rodgers had his back, saying in late Aug. that “I think he should be on a roster right now. I think because of his protests, he’s not,” he told ESPN The Magazine.
— NFL (@NFL) September 29, 2017
HollywoodLifers, where do you stand on NFL players protesting during the National Anthem?