Despite, or perhaps because of, the backlash against the National Football League, the Green Bay Packers are determined to drive their fans crazy. During Thursday night’s game, the team would like the fans in the stands to join in the protests that have so riled the fanbase.
The league is already being criticized for allowing players to protest during the national anthem and for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ridiculous statement saying President Donald Trump demonstrated “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players.”
The Packers added to the controversy with a statement from franchise President Mark Murphy for saying that while the players are “leaders in our communities and positive influences” despite their protests during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner, Trump made “divisive and offensive statements” when he said America would applaud if an owner fired one of the protesting players.
Now the Packers would like the fans attending the Packers-Bears game to link arms together for, “freedom, equality, tolerance, understanding and justice for those who have been unjustly treated, discriminated against or otherwise treated unfairly.”
“The eclectic group of players that you root for, the coaches you admire, the people you sit next to in the stands, those high-fiving on military bases, fans at the sports bar or during tailgate parties — we all come from different walks of life and have unique backgrounds and stories,” a statement from the players said according to ESPN.
“The game of football brings people together,” the statement continued. “As NFL players, we are a living testimony that individuals from different backgrounds and with different life experiences can work together toward a common goal.”
Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers gave his explanation of the arm-linking before the players’ statement was released. According to ESPN, Rodgers said:
“This is about equality. 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. But we’ve got to come together and talk about these things and grow as a community, as a connected group of individuals in our society, and we’re going to continue to show love and unity, and this week we’re going to ask the fans to join in as well and come together and show people that we can be connected and we can grow together.”
So everybody is so supposed to come together to show love and unity, but for what? Certainly not love and unity for the country. The players are protesting America every time they take a knee or sit down while our national anthem is played. Meanwhile the league is telling everyone that football is more important than showing respect for the United States.
And what uncomfortable conversation is Rodgers planning on having with fans? That many of them voted for Trump for President of the United States? Or that, even if they didn’t vote for Trump, they agree with him that the players are showing disrespect for the country by protesting during the national anthem? Or that pampered professional athletes are subject to criticism when they behave unprofessionally and unpatriotically?
Rodgers muddled statement should serve as a reminder to kids to drink milk every day or they’ll end up as intellectually incoherent as the Packers quarterback. We’ll just add that even on Brett Favre’s worst day, we can’t imagine him saying this stuff.
We suspect that many in the stands will link arms because of group pressure. But if fans are going to link arms to support those “who have been unjustly treated,” they should realize that the unjust treatment is coming from the NFL and its abuse of its fans.
As for the uncomfortable conversation that Rodgers wants to have, we suggest Packer season ticket holders and shareholders call Murphy to let him know what they think of this nonsense.