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'Listen with an open heart': Aaron Rodgers speaks up following George Floyd protests

In an apparent response to controversial comments made by Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers has spoken out in favor of social change.
Green Bay Packers players lock arms in unity; fans opt out of unity display
Posted at 7:45 PM, Jun 03, 2020

As athletes across the United States speak out in favor of social change, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has now weighed in.

"A few years ago we were criticized for locking arms in solidarity before the game," the Packers QB said on Instagram Wednesday. "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," he concluded.

Rodgers also included several hashtags, including #wakeupamerica and #itstimeforchange. The comments were next to a photo of Rodgers locking arms with teammates during the national anthem before a game in 2017.

The remarks appear to be a response to comments made by Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who was widely criticized Wednesday after comments made about NFL players protesting.

In an interview with Yahoo, Brees was asked to revisit former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 protest against police brutality against minorities, in which Kaepernick knelt during the National Anthem before games.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States,” Brees began, adding that the national anthem reminds him of two grandfathers who served in the armed forces during World War II. “In many cases, it brings me to tears thinking about all that has been sacrificed, and not just in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the Civil Rights movements of the ’60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point.”

Critical responses to Brees’ statements appeared on social media from major professional athletes including the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins.