Aaron Rodgers and his teammates are trying to bridge the gap between fans and players during the national anthem.
They’re asking fans to join them in linking arms during the Anthem on Thursday before kickoff against the Bears.
The Packers were one of many teams that linked arms during the Anthem last Sunday, with a few exceptions. Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks and Kevin King refused to participate and remained seated on the bench.
The Packers released the following statement on the recent Anthem protests last night.
The image you will see on September 28th will be one of unity. It will represent a coming together of players who want the same things that all of us do—freedom, equality, tolerance, understanding, and justice for those who have been unjustly treated, discriminated against or otherwise treated unfairly. …Let’s work together to build a society that is more fair and just.
Join us this Thursday by locking arms with whoever you’re with, stranger or loved one, wherever you are—intertwined and included—in this moment of unification.
QB Aaron Rodgers gave a brief interview before the official statement was released.
He said the following.
This is about equality…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. But we’ve got to come together and talk about these things and grow as a community, as a connected group of individuals in our society, and we’re going to continue to show love and unity, and this week we’re going to ask the fans to join in as well and come together and show people that we can be connected and we can grow together.
Rodgers has previously commented on Anthem protests directly, saying he believes former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick was kept off the field because of his political views.
Given the recent Packers’ joint statement about unity, it’s expected that every player will stand and link arms before tomorrow’s game. But it’s 2017 and Week 4 of the NFL, and if we’ve learned anything so far this season, it’s that anything can happen.