Patriotism replaces protests in Pack land
The Green Bay Packers invited their fans to join the players and coaches in linking arms before Thursday’s 35-14 win against the Chicago Bears as patriotism replaced protests.
As a 40-yard-long flag was displayed at the middle of the field just before the anthem, fans at Lambeau Field rose with a rousing ovation and chants of “USA! USA!”. The Packers had asked fans to join the players from both teams in linking arms during the anthem, rather than sitting, kneeling or raising clenched fists, with nearly 200 players choosing to protest last weekend after President Donald Trump called players “sons of b ****** ” who should be fired.
NFL owners met with commissioner Roger Goodell and a handful of players in New York on Tuesday to discuss the anthem protests.
The players included New York’s Jonathan Casillas, who said it was an exchange of ideas on what the league plans to do moving forward and how to approach player protests. “You got to see opinions from the owners and from the players as well,” Casillas told ESPN. “Stuff like that is very good, very proacLaaksonen tive. Thank Trump for saying what he said because without him saying that, (1) the whole league wouldn’t have been so collectively together, (2) we would’ve never had a meeting.”
In the game, Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes and the Green Bay defence forced four turnovers as the Packers routed the Bears. But it was a costly victory for the already injury-riddled Packers. Running back Ty Montgomery sustained broken ribs on the first possession, and receiver Davante Adams was taken to a hospital after a violent helmet-to-helmet hit.
The game also included a 40-minute weather delay because of storms in the Green Bay area.
“We knew we had to play a certain style of football against these guys,” said Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy whose side improved to 3-1. “We knew it would be a grind of a game, the turnovers were huge for us. Aaron was exceptional.
“We ran the ball early and he stayed patient.”
28 Chicago’s league rank for points scored this season
Leader of the Pack: Aaron Rodgers.