Rodgers sends a message with Instagram post on social justice, anthem protests

Packers

GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 24: Members of the Green Bay Packers stand with arms locked as a sign of unity during the national anthem prior to their game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field on September 24, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

(WFRV) – Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers chimed in with his thoughts on anthem protests on Instagram on Wednesday. Rodgers’ post came not long after comments by Saints quarterback Drew Brees on the issue that have caused a stir around the country.

“A few years ago we were criticized for locking arms in solidarity before the game. It has never been about the 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,” said Aaron Rodgers in an Instagram post.

Rodgers did not directly make reference to Brees, whose comment in an interview that has drawn plenty of attention on Wednesday, but rather a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field where players locked arms in solidarity. It was at the same time various players around the league were kneeling during the anthem as a protest for social justice.

Brees was asked during an interview with Yahoo! Finance about his memories of the anthem protests from 2016. His response that he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America,” has been followed with criticism from big-name athletes and even teammates.

“I love and respect my teammates, and I stand right there with them in regards to fighting for racial equality and justice,” said Drew Brees. “I also stand with my grandfathers who risked their lives for this country and countless other military men and women who do it on a daily basis.”

Brees did say in the interview with Yahoo! that he supports people protesting police brutality, but the national anthem is not the place.

Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith posted to Instagram a picture of the Packers schedule, focusing on the Week 3 match up between the Packers and the Saints.

View this post on Instagram

Week 3 9/27…

A post shared by 💤smith94 (@zsmith94) on

Thursday morning, Brees took to Instagram apologizing for his statements during the Yahoo! interview, saying in part:

“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused.”

He went on to say, “I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen.
For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”

View this post on Instagram

I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character. This is where I stand: I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement. I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

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