The Green Bay Packers have asked fans at the game to link arms for the national anthem on Thursday night amid ongoing controversy surrounding players protesting the song.
Less than a week after President Donald Trump’s divisive comments in which he referred to NFL players as ‘sons of b******,’ the Packers released a statement to say that the entire team will link arms during the anthem.
And on top of that, the team hopes every single fan in the stands at Lambeau Field will join them.
In a statement, which was released on Tuesday night, the team said they hope the intertwined arms represents a coming together of people who want ‘freedom, equality, tolerance, understanding and justice for those who have been unjustly treated, discriminated against, or otherwise treated unfairly.’
The Green Bay Packers have asked fans at the game to link arms for the national anthem on Thursday night amid ongoing controversy surrounding players protesting the song. The team is pictured on September 24 ahead of their game against the Bengals
President Donald Trump last week referred to NFL players who kneel during the anthem as ‘sons of b******’
The statement called the NFL family ‘one of the most diverse communities in the world, and said football works to bring people together.
‘This Thursday during the national anthem at Lambeau field, Packers players, coaches and staff will join together with arms intertwined – connected like the threads on your favorite jersey,’ the statement, which was published to their website, reads.
‘Join us this Thursday bu locking arms with whoever you’re with, stranger or loved one, wherever you are – intertwined and included – in this moment of unification.’
Most of the Packers’ players, including their captain Aaron Rogers, linked arms during the anthem on Sunday.
Rogers told ESPN Tuesday: ‘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.’
He also said that he hopes that by linking arms people will recognize the issues that need to be addressed.
Most of the Packers’ players, including their captain Aaron Rogers, linked arms during the anthem on Sunday. He told ESPN that the team is asking fans to link their arms to call for equality
Three players – Martellus Bennet, Kevin King and Lance Kendricks – sat on the bench during the anthem
Three players – Martellus Bennet, Kevin King and Lance Kendricks – sat on the bench during the anthem.
Bennett, the team’s tight end, protested in the first two games of the season by raising his fist in the air after his brother, Seahawks player Michael Bennett, seemed to be the victim of racial profiling by police in Las Vegas over the summer.
On Sunday President Trump unleashed his anger over Twitter after more than 200 NFL players took a knee, linked arms, raised their fists or didn’t show up for the singing of the national anthem.
He called for the league to instate new rules that require players to stand during the anthem – saying anything else is disrespectful to the country and to veterans.
The protests were started before the 2016 season by quarterback Colin Kaepernick – who used his public platform to protest police brutality and racism.
Colin Kaepernick (right), a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, started the kneeling trend last year and it quickly grew after Trump condemnation of it last week
FULL STATEMENT FROM THE GREEN BAY PACKERS AHEAD OF THEIR GAME ON THURSDAY NIGHT
The NFL family is one of the most diverse communities in the world. Just look around! The eclectic group of players that you root for, the coaches you admire, the people you sit next to in the stands, those high-fiving on military bases, fans at the sports bar or during tailgate parties—we all come from different walks of life and have unique backgrounds and stories.
The game of football brings people together. As NFL players, we are a living testimony that individuals from different backgrounds and with different life experiences can work together toward a common goal.
This Thursday during the national anthem at Lambeau Field, Packers players, coaches and staff will join together with arms intertwined—connected like the threads on your favorite jersey. When we take this action, what you will see will be so much more than just a bunch of football players locking arms. 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. Intertwined, we represent the many people who helped build this country, and we are joining together to show that we are ready to continue to build.
Let’s work together to build a society that is more fair and just.
Join us this Thursday by locking arms with whoever you’re with, stranger or loved one, wherever you are—intertwined and included—in this moment of unification.