Arguably one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers is known for his leadership within his team, the Green Bay Packers. The longtime quarterback blasted Donald Trump following his team’s victory on Thursday night.
Rodgers didn’t mention Trump by name, but the context of his speech was enough to know he was talking about Trump.
“It’s never been about the national anthem, it’s never been about the military,” Rodgers said of the protests.
“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.”
During Thursday night’s game, players from both teams locked arms and stood together during the national anthem, encouraging fans to do the same.
Rodgers said that Trump’s attack on the NFL has sparked the opportunity for conversations between players inside and outside the locker room.
“Sports and politics have always intersected,” he said. “If we can help continue a conversation through demonstration of unity like tonight, I think that’s a good thing.”
Rodgers and other players said they heard yelling during the national anthem, fans yelling at the athletes and at others to “put your hand on your heart.”
“Semantics there, right?” Rodgers said. “What’s disrespectful to the anthem? Yelling things during it, or standing at attention with arms locked, facing the flag? That’s for you to decide.”
"As much as some people want us to just shut up and play football … sports and politics have always intersected." Strong take from Rodgers pic.twitter.com/c4e1kEBD8R
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) September 29, 2017