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Packers, Bears embrace patriotism, not protest during anthem

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18), quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12), tight end Richard Rodgers (82) and wide receiver Davante Adams (17) link arms during the National Anthem prior to their game against the Chicago Bears Thursday night at Lambeau Field. (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange

GREEN BAY -- Thursday's national anthem before the Green Bay Packers' game against the Chicago Bears was filled with patriotism rather than protest.

As a 40-yard-long flag was displayed at the middle of the field, fans at Lambeau Field rose with a rousing ovation and chants of "USA! USA!"

Players from both teams stood on their sidelines, arms interlocked for the "Star Spangled Banner."

On Sunday, two days after President Donald Trump urged NFL owners to fire players who didn't stand for the national anthem, tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks and cornerback Kevin King sat on the bench as the anthem played before the game against Cincinnati.

On Tuesday, the Green Bay Packers' players put out a statement asking for the fans to join them in making a statement of "unity" during the national anthem by linking arms with fellow fans. Not many fans participated.

"I think there's been some positive conversation that's come out of it," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on Tuesday. "This is about equality. This is about unity and love and growing together as a society and starting a conversation around something that may be a little bit uncomfortable for people.

"But we've got to come together and talk about these things and grow as a community, as a connected group of individuals in our society, and we're going to continue to show love and unity. This week, we're going to ask the fans to join in as well and come together and show people that we can be connected and we can grow together."

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