During Thursday night’s NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, every player, staff, and coach stood with linked arms for the national anthem.
Some fans also followed suit, locking arms with each other, while others put their hands over their hearts. When the Star-Spangled Banner was over, everyone celebrated the show of unity with loud cheers and applause.
On Tuesday night, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the entire Green Bay Packers team released a statement, asking fans to stand and lock arms with each other during the national anthem before Thursday night’s game. The players said the team coaches and staff were going to join them as well.
“This is about equality,” Rodgers told ESPN. “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.”
On Sunday, most of the team stood on the field together with linked arms, except three players, Lance Kendricks, Martellus Bennett and Kevin King, who chose to sit instead.
All of the Chicago Bears players stood on the field on Sunday during the anthem, with most of them linked arm-in-arm, according to the Chicago Tribune. Chairman George McCaskey released a statement, saying, “This divisive political situation has unified our franchise for the present and future.” (Fox News)
Statement from Chicago Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey. pic.twitter.com/36u9aboXOO— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 24, 2017
The resumption to normalcy comes after more than 200 players protested last weekend following President Trump’s criticism of players who kneel during the anthem.
During a rally in Alabama last week he said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now, out, he’s fired!’”
Trump also tweeted throughout the week about the NFL protests.
This post has been updated.