Pa­tri­o­tism re­places protests in Pack land

Sport360 - - Tennis Shenzhen Open/Wuhan Open - By Greg Heakes @gheakes

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.

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