Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers called for solidarity and change amid protests over George Floyd's death, adding that on-field demonstrations by NFL players in recent years have "never been about an anthem or flag."
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis after a white former police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest last week.
RIVERA: Brees still doesn't get the point of protesting
Violent protests have broken out across the United States since Floyd's death, during which he was filmed crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.
The situation has turned attention back to Colin Kaepernick and kneeling during the national anthem in 2
Rodgers was among those to use social media to speak out on players protesting.
View this post on Instagram
A few years ago we were criticized for locking arms in solidarity before the game. It has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag. Not then. Not now. Listen with an open heart, let’s educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action. #wakeupamerica #itstimeforchange #loveoverfear #solidarity #libertyandjusticeforall #all
A post shared by Aaron Rodgers (@aaronrodgers12) on Jun 3, 2020 at 2:08pm PDT
"A few years ago we were criticized for locking arms in solidarity before the game," the Super Bowl 45 champion and two-time NFL MVP wrote on Instagram, posting a picture of himself locking arms with teammates before a game.
"It has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag. Not then. Not now. Listen with an open heart, let's educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action #wakeupamerica #itstimeforchange #loveoverfear #solidarity #libertyandjusticeforall #all."
Brees angered teammates Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Malcolm Jenkins and other athletes after taking offense to kneeling in front of the U.S. flag during the anthem.
"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said when asked about players kneeling in an interview with Yahoo Finance. "Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States.
"I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that's what I think about."