Aaron Rodgers said the Packers will once again link arms during the national anthem on Thursday night before Green Bay's game against the Bears. Notably, the Super Bowl champion quarterback also said the team will ask fans to join them in the demonstration of unity, reports PackersNews.com's Aaron Nagler.
That request was made public when the Packers players released a joint statement calling on fans to join by "locking arms with whoever you're with, stranger of loved one, wherever you are—intertwined and included—in this moment of unification."
Before Sunday's overtime victory over the Bengals, the Packers linked arms during the anthem while three Packers—Martellus Bennett, Kevin King and Lance Kendricks—chose to kneel. National anthem protests were widespread during Week 3 after president Donald Trump made controversial comments at a campaign rally for Alabama senator Luther Strange.
Last Friday night, Trump said NFL owners should "fire" NFL players who protest the anthem and referred to them as "son of a b----." His comments have been criticized by multiple NFL owners, players and the commissioner.
Players responded with a number of different protests and signs of solidarity; most teams linked arms during the anthem, while a number of players kneeled. As of now, no team has asked its fans to participate in a demonstration during the national anthem.
Rodgers posted the following picture of himself and teammates kneeling during practice shortly after Trumps comments.
The Packers are 2-1 after overcoming a 21-7 deficit to beat the Bengals in overtime. It was Rodgers first victory in extra time, as he entered the game with an 0-7-1 overtime record.