The Green Bay Packers will be playing the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field Thursday evening, and the entire team reportedly plans on linking arms prior to the start of the game to make a statement. The team is also reportedly asking fans to join in with them as an act of unity.
The team will be asking all fans and players to link together, whether black or white, or wearing green and gold or blue and orange. The team wants all people to be united as one to make the statement.
The request is reportedly coming from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks and the rest of the Packers players, according to the Wisconsin State-Journal. The players want the demonstration to be less divisive, and more a show of unity during a time of deep division.
“This is about equality,” Rodgers said Tuesday, speaking to reporters at his locker. “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.
“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. 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.”
“Before Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Rodgers and a host of other Packers locked arms before the national anthem began. A handful of other players stood on the sideline for the anthem but were not part of the chain; three players — Bennett, Kendricks and rookie cornerback Kevin King — sat on the bench. None of the players on the Packers’ sideline actually knelt.
Rodgers said he has seen “some positive conversation” about the underlying issues that have spurred the protests, and that “there’s been a great sense of unity and love and support in this locker room, guys coming together” in the wake of President Donald Trump’s criticism of NFL players.
The idea came to Rodgers after “a fantastic team meeting” in which the players discussed their perspectives on the issue. He stated that the idea was never about disrespecting veterans and military service members with their statements, contrary to what many conservatives believe about such demonstrations.
“It’s never been about the military or our men and women in uniform. Like I said after the game, we love and support them. Each of us, I’m sure, have done charity events for them. I’ve been to Fort Wainwright in Alaska and done PT (physical training) with those guys at 5 in the morning. We love them. We’re thankful for the opportunity they give us.”
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said that the entire issue deserves more listening from both sides (I can definitely agree with that, shouting at each other accomplishes nothing and just deepens the divide).
“I think everybody can do a better job of listening and make sure the messages that are trying to be delivered are heard and vice versa. I think that’s the biggest thing in life.”
What do you think? Is this a better way of bringing attention to an issue, or are there more viable alternatives?
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