Sportress of Blogitude

Packers to link arms during anthem, ask fans to do the same

The Green Bay Packers plan to link arms during the national anthem before Thursday night’s showdown with the Chicago Bears and are asking fans at Lambeau Field to do the same.

The Packers announced their intent with a statement released Tuesday night.

The statement, with the signature line being “The Packers Players,” reads in part as follows, via the team’s official site:

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. You will see the sons of police officers, kids who grew up in military families, people who have themselves experienced injustice and discrimination firsthand, and an array of others all linking together in a display of unity.

Those of us joining arms on Thursday will be different in so many ways, but one thing that binds us together is that we are all individuals who want to help make our society, our country and our world a better place. We believe that in diversity there can be UNI-versity.

The Packers subsequently published an article about the plan, which included quotes from Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers suggested the actions by NFL players, in particular those that occurred prior to Week 3 games, have “never been about the military or our men and women in uniform.” Instead, the protests, in whatever form, were “about equality,” “unity, and love, and growing together as a society, and starting a conversation around something that might be a little uncomfortable for people.”

The movement that took over pregame ceremonies during Week 3 was of course in reaction to President Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments over the past several days in which he lambasted the NFL over its tolerance of players who participate in anthem protests.

Given the nature of the debate in which the NFL and the public at large are embroiled in regarding Trump’s controversial statements and the subsequent fallout, there is no reason to expect the discussion surrounding protests to end anytime soon.