LOS ANGELES: Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers said Tuesday the team would continue to lock arms in solidarity during the national anthem as President Donald Trump unleashed a fresh blast against NFL protesters.
Rodgers and his Packers teammates stood with arms interlinked during Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, while three other players chose to sit on the bench during a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The Packers display came on an unprecedented day of protest across the National Football League triggered by Trump’s tirade against players who kneel or sit during the anthem to draw attention to racial injustice.
Rodgers told reporters on Tuesday the Packers would continue to show solidarity with protesters, and called on fans in the stadium to link arms as well.
“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,” said the quarterback. “This week we’re going to ask the fans to join in as well and come together and show that we can be connected and we can grow together.”
The quarterback said he was concerned that the message of the team’s display of unity was being misconstrued, emphasising once again that there was no intention of being disrespectful to the military.
“Outside the building, I think the message has been diluted a little bit and it’s been kind of taken away from what we were trying to do: show a united front, guys linking up together,” said Rodgers. “It’s never been about the military or our men and women in uniform. 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.”
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