National Football League (NFL) star Aaron Rodgers says that fans should lock arms during his next game in a show of solidarity with players.
“This is about equality,” he told Packers News Tuesday. “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,” the Green Bay Packers quarterback added.
“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.”
Some Twitter users on Wednesday debated the merits of Rodgers’ request to fans before his next performance Thursday night.
Aaron Rodgers and the packers want fans to unite arms during national anthem Thursday I wonder what the outcome will be? 🤔— CHIPPY (@chippy32408) September 27, 2017
Everyone needs to cancel their State Farm Insurance Aaron Rodgers supports the taking of a knee for the national anthem— Nick Tisone (@wtfrwedn) September 27, 2017
The Packers will host the Chicago Bears for a clash at the former’s Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin Thursday evening.
The contest will kick off the NFL’s Week 4 amid raging controversy over the league’s recurring national anthem protests.
Multiple NFL coaches, executives and players have knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner” after President Trump recently derided the move.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began performing the move in 2016 to protest police treatment of minorities in the U.S.
Trump has since repeatedly criticized the practice, and on Tuesday he labeled it “disgraceful” during a public appearance.
“I don’t think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem,” he said during a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. “To me, the NFL situation is a very important situation.”
Critics argue that the national anthem protests are unpatriotic, while supporters counter that they are a vital exercise of free speech instead.
We asked veterans how they really feel about the NFL anthem protests.