Aaron Rodgers has made it clear on where he stands during the George Floyd protests going on across the country. On Instagram, the Green Bay Packers quarterback posted a photo of him and his teammates locking arms in 2017 in response to President Donald Trump's comments on Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem. In the caption, Rodgers explained why the team decided to lock arms.
"A few years ago we were criticized for locking arms in solidarity before the game," Rodgers wrote. He also mentioned locking arms or kneeling "has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag." Rodgers also added. "Listen with an open heart, let’s educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action." The two-time NFL MVP ended the statement with the hashtagged phrases, "wake up America, "it's time for change," "love over war" and "solidarity."
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In 2017, Kaepernick was not signed by a team after protesting the entire 2016 season. During a rally speech in Alabama, Trump said an owner should fire a player if they kneel during the national anthem. "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a b— off the field right now. Out! He’s fired," Trump said. The NFL took exception to that, which led to a number of teams protesting the following Sunday.
"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities."
Rodgers' comments came right around when New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees made his comments about kneeling during the national anthem being "disrespectful." It's not known if Rodgers was directing his post at Brees, but there were plenty of NFL and New Orleans Saints players angry at Brees, which led to him apologizing for the comments on Instagram Thursday morning.