Which Green Bay Packers Sat During the National Anthem? [Sept. 28]
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Which Green Bay Packers Sat During the National Anthem? [Sept. 28]

martellus bennett Getty

Martellus Bennett.

Three Green Bay Packers stayed seated during the National Anthem on Sunday, September 24 after a war of words ignited between President Donald Trump and the NFL. However, things changed on Thursday, September 28.

The Packers all stood, linking arms, in unity for the National Anthem on Thursday, and some fans followed suit. (You can watch a live stream of the Packers-Bears game here.)

QB Aaron Rodgers had called on fans to join the Packers in locking arms, a move that caused some fan anger on social media. Fans also chanted “USA! USA!”

The Bears also stood and linked arms:

Not everyone was a fan of the locking arm approach.

However, a lot of people liked how it turned out.

The scene extended outside the stadium.

A large American flag was on the field.

Earlier in the week, Rodgers asked fans to stand and link arms, saying, “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. 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, 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.”

The Packers organization also called on fans to lock arms during the National Anthem. “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,” the team said in a statement. You can read it in full here.

Who were the Packers who didn’t stand during the earlier game?

According to WTMJ-TV, “Tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks (a Milwaukee native) and defensive back Kevin King all chose to sit down during the anthem.” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted that this marked the first time any Packers had not stood for the National Anthem in protest, reporting that the only past protest came from “Bennett, who lifted his right fist during the first two regular-season games.”

Most of the Packers, including QB Aaron Rodgers, stood and linked arms together during the National Anthem.

Here’s a photo of Bennett raising his fist in protest in the past.

martellus bennett

Martellus Bennett #80 of the Green Bay Packers raises his fist during the national anthem prior to the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 17, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kendricks revealed that he sat in part because he wanted to raise attention about the Puerto Ricans who are suffering because of Hurricane Maria, according to reporter Tom Silverstein.

According to defensive lineman Dean Lowry, speaking to Greg Matzek of WTMJ, “Coach McCarthy told the team that ‘Whatever you do, be behind us.'”

lance kendricks

GettyLance Kendricks #84 of the Green Bay Packers catches a touchdown pass during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field on September 24, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Aaron Rodgers hinted that he supported the protests before the game, posting a photo on Instagram that showed players kneeling, although the photo was not taken during a protest. However, Rodgers was not one of the Packers who sat down during the National Anthem. He remained standing, but linked arms with other players in a demonstration of unity. Most of the Bengals also stood and linked arms.

Some fans were unhappy with the three Green Bay Packers who didn’t stand.

Earlier in the day, Rodgers posted the photo on Instagram of players kneeling with the caption “#unity #brotherhood #family #dedication #love.” Some people were interpreting Rodgers’ Instagram comments as a hint that he might kneel during the anthem, although he did not do so.

#unity #brotherhood #family #dedication #love #

A post shared by Aaron Rodgers (@aaronrodgers12) on

Rodgers also posted that he was giving away tickets at a location on a street named for the man who wrote the Bill of Rights.

He wrote, “Rodgerstickethunt In GB we have a street named after the man who wrote the Bill Of Rights. On that street you will find these tickets. Hint: if you’re near an organization that has two solid mandates, you are close. #gameday #packers #.”

Some fans were unhappy.

Meanwhile, the day before, Packers CEO Mark Murphy sharply criticized Donald Trump.

“It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL,” Murphy’s statement read. “We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.”

In August, though, USA Today reported that coach Mike McCarthy emphasized the importance of the National Anthem to players. For years, he has shown players a PowerPoint on why the National Anthem matters, the newspaper reported, adding, “They learn about its connection with sports, why it has been played before kickoffs and tip-offs and first pitches and puck drops since World War II.” Some Packers players said in that article that they would not sit for the anthem. For example, Martellus Bennett, whose brother Michael remained sitting during the National Anthem, said in August that he wouldn’t sit for it. Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois said at that time that it would be a waste of time to protest the National Anthem.

Trump ignited the war of words with the NFL on Friday, calling players who don’t stand for the National Anthem a “son of a b-tch.” On Sunday, Trump again called for NFL owners to fire or suspend players who don’t stand for the Anthem. However, multiple owners have since defended their players’ right to protest, and the hashtag #takeaknee trended on Twitter.

Commissioner Roger Goodell had called Trump’s comments divisive, saying, “The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture.”

Read about other owners’ comments on the Trump controversy here:

23 Comments

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23 Comments

Nobody

I think these overpaid bastards, that are claiming black privilege ! need to dig into their bank accounts , and help their poor Brothers that are living in poverty in the ghetto ; and president Donald Trump is exactly right !!! But we also know that the Democrats are trying to overthrow the country !!
So all of you non Patriot bastards can go fvck yourself …

JOHN MAYOR

If Heavy.com’s Comment Loggers/ Cloggers and Readers would like to review my comments re the allegations made against PHEWTUS, then add the ensuing to your addbar (minus the h-t-t-p hyphens, and replace (dot) with “.”)
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h-t-t-p://heavy(dot)com/news/2017/08/boston-free-speech-rally-woman-dragged-video-american-flag-counter-protests/
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Please!… no emails!… Jesus is Lord!

Wilda

Shame on you Packers for disrespecting our flag and National Anthem. Showing disrespect for these is not a way to protest anything. I and my family have always enjoyed NFL Football and respected the players who entertained us. Cuz while I paid hard earned money to see the games and to share this with my family I respected you all for the way you handled yourself and the sportsmanship you showed. But most important the respect you openingly showed for our country and all who stand up for this country we live in. The man who I feel is not patriotic at all is the man in the White House. Let’s not fall to his level and forget who we are and what we stand for. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I don’t believe in his ideas for the most part, but in no way will I be disrespectful to our United States and all it stands for all of us and stoop to his level of disrespect for what this USA has enabled us to be and to Iive our lives as we choose.

JOHN MAYOR

Dear Wilda!:…
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In an article titled, 110 N.F.L. Brains, in the The New York Times, by authors, Joe Ward, Josh Williams and Sam Manchester, dated July 25th, 2017… and “conveniently blurred”, and copying made “deliberately problematic”!… Neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, is reported to have amassed evidence of “chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.!… the degenerative disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head!)”, afterupon her examination of 202 deceased football players (a broad survey of her findings were published on the preceding Tuesday, July 18, 2017, in the The Journal of the American Medical Association!… the myriad symptoms of which, include memory loss, confusion, depression and dementia!… and can arise years after the “career blows to the head”!)!
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Of the 202 players examined, 111 of them played in the N.F.L.– and 110 of those were found to have C.T.E.!
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Simply put!… the term PUBLIC SLAVERY is an apt description for those who support both football, and boxing!… and, underscores the degree of “DEMOANASTROPHOPATHY (i.e., pathic public behavior!)” rampant in America! And!… the one major omission within Dr. McKee’s official report, is the etiology (the causation!) associated with the “PUBLIC BRAIN DAMAGE” tied to the public acceptance of football!… but also– I suggest!– boxing!
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Lastly, given what sundry of the CRIMINAL BACKERS of these “sports” are capable of (and e.g., the respective team backers and the managers!), I fear for the safety of the political critics of these “industries”!… and!… I wonder what MANMADE TRAGEDY awaits such critics, as a result of their public shaming of the owners and operators of these American pastimes! Either the TRUE MEDICAL COMMUNITY… AND SCIENCE!… wins the “social debate” over the UTILITY of these “sports (so-called!)”, or the DEMOANASTROPHOPATHY wins (and, in the latter scenario, that includes the owners, players, and the DISEASED PUBLIC!… and, DESPITE THE EVIDENCE– THE FACTS!)!
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Please!… no emails!… Jesus is Lord!

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