Rodgers says he will continue to speak out, blames ‘divisiveness from the top in this country’

It’s been an interesting week for Aaron Rodgers.

The Packers quarterback has become immersed in the controversy over national anthem protests.

Before Green Bay’s overtime win Sunday against the Bengals, the quarterback joined most of his teammates in locking arms during the anthem. Three of them sat in protest.

In advance of Thursday night’s 35-14 rout of the Bears, Rodgers announced the entire team would stand and link arms, and he urged Packers fans to join him to show support for equality.

“This is about equality,” he said. “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.”

He also poked fun at those upset over the anthem protests.

After all of that, Rodgers made a surprising move. Rather than giving away his extra game tickets through a scavenger hunt on Twitter, as he usually does, he announced he would give them to Green Bay police officers.

While that likely pleased many Packers fans, his call for them to link arms fell flat.

Most fans opted instead to treat the national anthem with the traditional reverence, putting their right hands over their hearts.

After the game, Rodgers made it clear that he will continue to speak out — and he indicated President Donald Trump is the reason. The president last week said athletes who don’t stand for the anthem should be fired.

“The messaging of this unfortunately needs to continue to be redirected, I think,” he told reporters. “It’s never been about the national anthem. It’s never been about the military. We’re all patriotic in the locker room. We love our troops. This is about something bigger than that — an invitation to show unity in the face of some divisiveness from the top in this country. …

“As much as some people want us to just shut up and play football and keep the politics to politics, sports and politics have always intersected. If we can help continue a conversation through demonstration of unity like tonight, I think that’s a good thing.”

What do you think?


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