(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.
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.”