Aaron Rodgers: It’s never been about the flag

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Saints quarterback Drew Brees touched off a lot of reactions on Wednesday when he said he will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag when asked about the possibility of players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games this season.

Most of those reactions pointed out that Colin Kaepernick and players who took a knee were doing so to protest police brutality and racial inequality rather than the United States flag. Another veteran NFL quarterback noted the same later in the day.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers posted a picture of himself locking arms with teammates before a game and pointed out that some were critical of that approach as well.

“A few years ago we were criticized for locking arms in solidarity before the game. It has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag,” Rodgers wrote. “Not then. Not now. Listen with an open heart, let’s educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action.”

Outside of posting a black square on Instagram to observe Blackout Tuesday, this is Rodgers’ first public comment since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer late last month.

59 responses to “Aaron Rodgers: It’s never been about the flag

  1. Listen to the man. It was NEVER about the flag. That’s a cop-out. It’s about inequality, injustice, “every person created equally”’ and police brutality with our black brothers and sisters bearing the brunt of the injustice.

  2. Arron Rogers is right. It never was about the flag or our anthem or disrespecting our troops. It was about racial inequality. Never has it been true that all people are created equally in this country. It is past time to stop hating, stop keeping people down and then blaming them for being down.

  3. Bullies and liars manipulate the language around an act of conscience to portray it in the most unflattering and dishonest light….and they do so to say, “shut up” and “don’t complain”… it is a method used by bullies intent on intimidating or maligning others into conformity with their worldview.

  4. By engaging in political protest during the celebration of our Nation and flag…I’m sorry, you made it about the flag.. totally. People do not have an issue with the political protest, they have an issue with the timing….like during the National Anthem while we celebrate or Nation and Flag.

  5. “Players who took a knee were doing so to protest police brutality and racial inequality rather than the United States flag”

    You’re confusing the reason for their protest, with the actual protest. Brees is not taking issue with their reasoning, just their chosen protest. And he’s not wrong.

  6. I am a Viking fan that has a new appreciation for Rogers. He is 100% correct in his assessment.

  7. Well said Aaron! Someone once said, Patriotism is the laast hiding place for scoundrels!

  8. Colin Kaepernick would disagree with that opinion. He said he was kneeling during the national anthem because he won’t stand in support of a nation that systemically accepts police violence against black people. He said that’s what the flag represents. I don’t remember too many people having a problem with players locking arms.

  9. If it’s not about the flag and has never been out the flag, then don’t kneel during the National Anthem. You make it about the flag once you start kneeling.

  10. If it wasn’t about the flag, why do it during the Anthem?

    It was never about your protest; it was about when & how you did it.

  11. The people who wanted to make it about the flag didn’t want to address the issue, and wanted to keep covering up for bad officers like the 4 perps in MN.

    How’s that working out?

  12. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”
    -Colin Kaepernick

    I’m definitely not saying Kaepernick was wrong to do what he did, but to say it was never about the flag, at all, is a bit disingenuous.

  13. If it’s not about the flag, then why kneel during the anthem? Why not kneel at the two minute warning?

  14. It’s not about the flag, but it is in the sense of how things are going to change. This flag of our country gives us the right to a jury of our peers if we are accused of wrongdoing, not to be murdered by those who swore to protect. It gives us the right to protest when an injustice happens to person like Mr. George. The flag has given the right of equality. The people we elect and hire that aren’t letting everyone live in true freedom and equality.

  15. Then don’t protest during the national anthem at the moment veterans are spreading the flag out if it’s not about the flag. When you behave in that manner it takes away from the message because all you do is turn people like me away. After three plus years it seems you people would have figured that out by now.

  16. Seems odd to do the scorecard for how much he’s commented right after he makes one of the best comments on the matter by any athlete to date.

  17. It has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag,” Rodgers wrote. “Not then. Not now.
    ________

    Besides the fact that it was during the playing of the anthem, and in front of the flag, he’s 100% right.

  18. ryguy1269 says:
    June 3, 2020 at 6:39 pm
    It’s not about the flag, but it is in the sense of how things are going to change. This flag of our country gives us the right to a jury of our peers if we are accused of wrongdoing, not to be murdered by those who swore to protect. It gives us the right to protest when an injustice happens to person like Mr. George. The flag has given the right of equality. The people we elect and hire that aren’t letting everyone live in true freedom and equality.
    ————–
    Protest, yes.

    Riot, loot, and kill innocent civilians, no.

    The silence from protesters about the pervasive riots/looting/assaults/murders is deafening and disingenuous.

  19. Note to those telling us what this is about — you don’t get to tell others how to express their protest. Go do your own.

  20. If it is not about the flag then kneel some other time. Kneel when you are being interviewed, speak out each time you are interviewed. Kneel in your State Farm commercial.

  21. Is it really that complicated? It is not about the flag, it is about what the flag represents. And what it represents is a country that treats a large portion of its citizens as if they have to prove every day that they are not criminals, it bullies them, it assaults them, it kills them, and everyone expect them to stand and salute the symbol of that mistreatment.

    This isn’t complicated, people just don’t want to listen or acknowledge the truth because it makes them uncomfortable.

  22. Who cares, dismantle all sports leagues and let these pampered individuals go find a real job with real people. All of you live behind gates in homes way beyond your needs.

  23. Agree with Rodgers.

    But the biggest point with Kap is the timing of his motivation to being a voice for black community.

    Why not while he was successful and the face of the 9’ers?

    It always came off as a facade for personal gain and that is why he got so much criticism.

    It would be nice if we would keep this about the people who are actually in need of equality, not a rich NFL QB.

  24. Nfl players are spoiled jerks. As veteran it does bother me kneeling during the anthem. To me it says I am at a level above to show the flag proper respect. If its not about the flag then don’t do it during the anthem.

    By all means speak your mind people do listen.

  25. “That uncomfortable conversation you are trying to avoid by injecting military into a conversation about brutality and equality is part of the problem“

    -Richard Sherman

  26. losangelesbillsofbuffalo says:
    June 3, 2020 at 7:12 pm
    “That uncomfortable conversation you are trying to avoid by injecting military into a conversation about brutality and equality is part of the problem“

    -Richard Sherman
    ==========================================

    Without intending to, Sherman actually supports the argument that the way they conduct their protests takes away from the message. If you want people to listen, don’t do things that make them shut you out.

  27. I disagree with part of the Richard Sherman quote to me flag and brutality are two different things. Where I agree there have been too many black people killed in the hands of the police.

  28. It’s absolutely mind-blowing to see how many of you still don’t get it. How many of you are saying “its not the right time” when they protested peacefully. You don’t get to set the time and the place, protests are supposed to be uncomfortable, that’s the whole point. Kaepernick and Jenkins and Reid were right and they continue to be right, especially judging from the some of your comments. Stay uncomfortable and don’t watch football if it happens this season because the protests are a’comin’.

  29. It’s interesting that those who are trying to raise awareness (they don’t feel heard) are offended whenever someone tries to say how they feel.

  30. Instead of kneeling during the anthem which some people may and may not find offensive, kneel during penalties and commercial timeouts.

  31. NFL players bickering at each other on Twitter and Instagram. Owners and coaches giving statements then apologizing.

    Overreactions to COVID-19 and freaking out about everything.

    We, as a species, are turning into idiots.

  32. Sorry, but kneeling during the national anthem is not the time to cry for social injustice. Respect your flag and country first.

  33. It’s absolutely mind-blowing to see how many of you still don’t get it. How many of you are saying “its not the right time” when they protested peacefully. You don’t get to set the time and the place, protests are supposed to be uncomfortable, that’s the whole point. Kaepernick and Jenkins and Reid were right and they continue to be right, especially judging from the some of your comments. Stay uncomfortable and don’t watch football if it happens this season because the protests are a’comin’.

    __________
    Allow them to kneel and many will boycott including me.

  34. Thank you Aaron Rodgers…
    A flag, a piece of cut cloth means more to some American people than some of their same American citizen counter parts that they look different than. That’s why I kneel, America is not what it claims to be in practice than what it claims to be in words and symbolism.

  35. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” -Colin Kaepernick. Tell me gain that this has nothing to do with the flag?

  36. Never been a Rodgers fan, but apparently he gets it. He can see the Forrest for the trees.
    Most people can’t understand it….the feeble minded.
    Kudos A A Ron.

  37. Big deal Aaron. This is disrespect for the flag and the country. You’re basically part of the gutless mob in this country now.

  38. Expressing one’s belief in the need for social justice despite professional consequences is just about the most sincere gesture of love for our country and constitution an individual can make.

  39. To me it was never a flag thing. It was a you’re at work thing and your actions are damaging your employer. You’re putting unwanted pressure on your teammates. You want to protest you could do it on Tuesday, the day your employer gives you off.

  40. I think some are missing Aaron’s point here and trying to spin it somewhere else because they don’t want to face truth.

    First of all, Aaron never took a knee during the anthem. The whole Packers team locked arms in solidarity and were criticized for that as well.

    Some were/are criticizing the silent protests and now also criticizing the louder protests that we have seen playing out over the last week or so. By criticizing both you are giving the impression that the injustices taking place are ok to you and that they should continue unchecked. Is doing nothing ok?

    I will repeat Aaron’s words:

    Listen with a open heart. Educate yourself, and then turn word and thought into action.

  41. This is about the country that flag has come to represent — it’s all of our country and that flag deserves way better.

  42. Rodgers is exactly right the protest got hijacked into anti-flag / country when it wasn’t about the flag.

  43. Wow, I’m a Packers fan but this moron needs to go, this guy 12, does nothing but pander….. a total embarrassment.

  44. Can I go in the street and burn a flag and say its to protest animal abuse? If the flag is involved, then IT IS about the flag…regardless of what you say its for. Kap chose the wrong approach for his message, plain and simple.

  45. okboomer says:
    June 3, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    It’s absolutely mind-blowing to see how many of you still don’t get it. How many of you are saying “its not the right time” when they protested peacefully. You don’t get to set the time and the place, protests are supposed to be uncomfortable, that’s the whole point. Kaepernick and Jenkins and Reid were right and they continue to be right, especially judging from the some of your comments. Stay uncomfortable and don’t watch football if it happens this season because the protests are a’comin’.

    __________
    Allow them to kneel and many will boycott including me.
    ________________________

    In the immortal words of Curly Bill Brocious….”Well…Bye!”

  46. Rodgers and his teammates locked arms in unison during the anthem to help make their point on systemic racism. They didn’t kneel and explicitly said they were honoring the anthem but trying to recognize racism. Anyone who says that protest is “about the flag” is lazily trying to avoid the issue — and that’s 50% of the problem in this country.

  47. Kneeling is a sign of respect. Period. This is how others with a different agenda have twisted things about this whole thing.

  48. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” – Colin Kaepernick
    ———————–
    It’s been about the flag from the beginning.

  49. armylz says:
    June 4, 2020 at 8:00 am

    Can I go in the street and burn a flag and say its to protest animal abuse? If the flag is involved, then IT IS about the flag…//////

    Except nobody burned a flag. Just stop, the person (Kaepernick) that originally knelt told you what it was about (police brutality) but you and other zeros twisted into something about the flag. Listen.

  50. What does it mean when Colin Kaepernick says”
    Colin Kaepernick – I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color!!!

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