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The NFL’s magnifying glass falls on Lambeau Field Thursday, as the Bears travel to Green Bay to renew the league’s oldest rivalry. But this one has a new wrinkle: after displays of unity and peaceful protest across the NFL during Week 3, fans are curious to see what will happen during Thursday’s national anthem.
Earlier this week, the Packers requested that the entirety of Lambeau Field link arms in unity during Thursday’s anthem. Here’s an excerpt from their official statement:
This Thursday during the national anthem at Lambeau Field, Packers players, coaches and staff will join together with arms intertwined—connected like the threads on your favorite jersey. When we take this action, what you will see will be so much more than just a bunch of football players locking arms. The image you will see on September 28th will be one of unity. It will represent a coming together of players who want the same things that all of us do—freedom, equality, tolerance, understanding, and justice for those who have been unjustly treated, discriminated against or otherwise treated unfairly. You will see the sons of police officers, kids who grew up in military families, people who have themselves experienced injustice and discrimination firsthand, and an array of others all linking together in a display of unity.
Last week, the Bears linked arms during the anthem when they hosted the Steelers. The controversy fell on the opposite sideline, when Steelers lineman and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva stood slightly outside the tunnel while his team remained behind him. Villanueva explained the situation later in the week, but that was after he unintentionally became an anti-protest symbol.
WBAY-TV reported earlier this week that there will be extra security on the field Thursday. It’s being reported that there will not be additional security at the stadium, but rather more units will be moved closer to the field.
Corner Prince Amukamara, who is in his second season in Chicago, said this week that he wants to make sure the message of the protest is not lost in all the controversy.
“I think more attention has been on what the guys are doing rather than why were doing it,” he told reporters. “It’s about social injustice and inequality and I think we’re just all hoping that message still stays pure.”
This page will update to reflect any actions taken by either team during Thursday’s anthem.
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