The Packers players wrote a long letter to their fans this week. A letter in which the team asked their fans to join them in interlocking arms during the anthem on Thursday night.
According to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, this was a moment that stood for, “…equality.” As well as “…unity and love, and growing together as a society and starting a conversation around something that may be a little bit uncomfortable for people.”
Well, as it turns out, most Packers fans didn’t want to have a “conversation,” weren’t interested in”growing together,” and certainly had no desire to be made “a little bit uncomfortable.” Instead, the activity most Packers fans elected to participate in when it came time to honor America, was to chant “USA! USA! USA!:”
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) September 29, 2017
While all players, for the Packers and Bears stood with arms interlocked. Only a few isolated groups of fans chose too. To the Packers credit, unlike last weekend, no Green Bay players were found on the bench. On Sunday against Cincinnati, three Green Bay players protested by sitting on the bench. On Thursday night, every Bear and every Packer was on his feet.
Fan outrage, in Green Bay in particular, has been intense since last weekend’s protests. Many Packers fans called the team office throughout the week, letting them know how uncomfortable they felt with the protests, and team’s efforts to get the fans to join in the demonstration on Thursday night.
The team decided to continue with the planned demonstration, and clearly the fans were not having it. The recent surge in NFL protests was brought on by comments from President Trump last Friday night, when he referred to players who protest the anthem as “SOB’s,” amnd said he’s like to see them fired.
The Steelers and the Broncos have already released statements saying they will end their protests and stand, beginning on Sunday. After what happened at the Packers game tonight, Green Bay may be the next team to join them.