Earlier this week, Aaron Rodgers urged fans to join Packers players, coaches, and staff in a ‘call for unity’ while the National Anthem played before Thursday night’s game against Chicago.
WTAQ spoke with roughly one dozen tailgating fans outside Lambeau Field, and none were on board with that plan.
- “The way I’m going to honor the flag is stand up, put my hand over my heart, and sing.”
- “You put your hand over your heart.”
- “I stand for the flag. I’m not going to link arms. I’m going to put my hand on my heart, just like you’re supposed to do.”
- “Stand for the National Anthem, hand over the heart and hat off your head.”
- “I respect our military, the flag, and this country. That’s how I was raised.”
Fans offered alternate ways for players to express their social justice concerns.
- “Similar to the Cowboys, you want to make a statement, do it before (the National Anthem plays).”
- “The National Anthem is the wrong forum for that.”
- “I think I can show my unity in other ways and at other venues and other times.”
- “I believe there is other ways: social media, public speaking on their days off.”
- “Bring their complaints to a different stage, where people want to see it.”
- “If they want to kneel, they should kneel in church and pray for humanity.”
- “This is about all of the people that gave their life for this country, no matter what color or race you are.”
- “I think they can spend their money where their mouths are and do something for the people that they are trying to help.”
Some fans we spoke with did highlight that the players have the right to engage in the act.
- “There’s a reason we have the First Amendment, everybody’s entitled to their own views.”
- “Everybody has got free choice. It’s America, and that’s what the flag stands for.”
- “Everyone has their own right to their own opinion.”
Most Packers players stood with arms linked, while a few sat on the bench. Some fans mimicked the arm-locked players. Others stood with their hands over their hearts.