A people divided and that’s just the way we like it

The Green Bay Packers asked the fans in Lambeau Field Thursday night to do what the players on the field were about to do: link arms and show unity. It could have been an inspiring moment.

For the most part, fans declined, however.

If there’s one thing Americans like, it’s a good fight with each other.

“Well, it was an invitation to join us,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said after the game. “The beauty is, it’s a free country so they can choose to do it or not.”

“The messaging of this, unfortunately, continues to need to be redirected. It’s never been about the national anthem, it’s never been about the military,”Rodgers said. “We’re all patriotic in the locker room. We love our troops. This is about something bigger than that: an invitation to show unity in the face of some divisiveness from the top in this country, and I’m proud of our guys. This has been a galvanizing situation for us.”

Rogers said he was glad no one booed during the anthem, but noted that irony and respect for the flag go hand in hand in America.

“We could hear some ‘USA’ chants as it started – which is fantastic. We could also hear some negativity being yelled during the anthem. Semantics there, right? What’s disrespectful to the anthem, yelling things during it or standing at attention with arms locked facing the flag? ” he said.

By the way, sir, the U.S. Flag Code, which outlines the rules for showing respect to the flag, does not allow it touch the ground or other objects.

After the National Anthem, the Packers scored a touchdown and football fans in Green Bay were happy again.

  • It’s never been about the national anthem, it’s never been about the military…or the flag itself…

    A TON of people just don’t understand that concept.

    • They understand just fine.

      • Huh, do you really think so? I’ve met quite a few people who REALLY don’t seem to understand.

        • MikeB

          It’s a choice. They don’t take a minute to listen. Their perception of what they want the protest to be about, so they can oppose it, feeds their distaste.

          • Ok, that makes sense…thanks.

          • Rob

            Known in the trade as “willfull ignorance.”

          • Brutus

            Translated…..”they don’t agree with me…they must be stupid or racist.” BLM is BS and their cause is a statistical sham. I have listened AND researched and found BLM is a violent, race baiting, hateful group that craves power to do ill will.

            But I know what you are thinking now…..”What a racist, he doesn’t see it my way….must be a racist and probably helped Russia in its war on Women.”

          • Rob

            Yes. There are no unarmed black men being killed by the police across the U.S. And there are no cops getting off free as a bird after so doing. So let’s quit with the BLM stuff already. Sheesh.

            BTW, Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh and other alt-right outlets do not constitute valid research sources.

          • Brutus

            Recent article in Business Insider that lays out all the stats. BLM pushes a FALSE narrative as the facts point out. To not examine the data and just declare everyone as ignorant because they don’t agree with you is ironic as hell:)

          • Link?

        • The reason the flag and anthem are the issue is because otherwise the response to the players would require them to argue against racial equality and justice.

          They won’t do that. So….poof…. a patriotism controversy.

          They know EXACTLY what they’re doing.

          • Brutus

            They refuse to honor the flag and anthem, even in a foreign country, and because I am appalled and offended I am a racist. Can you get anymore Orwellian? Your theory is that we are not really offended, we are closet racists dying to come out and use patriotism as cover? Wow.

          • X.A. Smith

            There’s no reason that you can’t both be genuinely offended, and at the same time there are politicians and propagandists telling you to be offended in order to change the subject. I totally believe that you’re offended.

    • RBHolb

      I don’t know why it ever would have been about “the military.” Have we turned into a country where patriotism can only be expressed by reverence for the Armed Forces?

  • Rob

    Seeing all these wrong-headed fans makes me think of the old John Prine song, “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore”

  • MrE85

    I’ve never had much patience with bumper sticker patriotism. But as Rogers said, it’s a free country.

  • Postal Customer

    The guy who paid to watch a football game and protest the players. The NRA hat.
    Class act right there. If you don’t like what the players are doing, walk out. Better yet, stay home. Actions speak louder than words. That ought to be a lesson from the players to the fans.

    This kind of division just feeds the president. He thrives on it.

    • John O.

      Given the sheer number of years it literally takes for one to move far enough along on the wait list for an opportunity to buy season tickets at Lambeau, the gentleman with the NRA hat and the sign may have already paid a lot of money to get that ticket from another season ticket holder. Or, he is the season ticket holder and is just trying to hang with the cool kids. My own guess is he paid dearly to get that ticket and was not going to walk out or be a no-show.

    • QuietBlue

      At least to me, it seems like the NFL has the grumpiest fan base of all of the major sports, like people are just looking for a reason to be mad and wallow in negativity. I’ve thought this even before the current controversy.

      • Bob Sinclair

        Ever been to a NASCAR race?

      • Brutus

        The NFL insults me, and now 45 years of being a fan is over. I will adapt and overcome. But yeah, Im a little grumpy, NOW.

  • David Brauer

    Huh they’re all white

    • andy

      Have you been to Green Bay? Those who are not white, wear Packer jerseys…….

      • Jay T. Berken

        That is funny and very true 10-20 years ago.

        To show my ignorance. When growing up in Green Bay during the 80s-90s, I would see a black man in a store and ask then ask mom which Packer player he was. (nine times out of ten, he was a Packer)

  • Chris

    Republican president Trump is playing these rubes in the stands like a fiddle. They’ve forgotten for the moment all about his deal with Dems on the budget and looming DACA deal.

    • Brutus

      I’m a rube for loving what the Stars and Stripes stand for? $1000 says you have never served this country a day in your life. You KNEW many would be upset, but you could care less. Double or Nothing says you reside in a “Bubble City” and everyone you know agrees with your ‘thinkspeak’

      • // Stars and Stripes stand for? $

        Equality of its citizens? That’s pretty much what the protest is about, sir.

        / $1000 says you have never served this country a day in your life.

        This is the typical result of the ongoing marketing of the NFL and other sports who have created the illusion tht the military and “serving your country” are the same thing. That you cannot and do not serve your country unless you are in the military.

        This is utter nonsense.

        Teachers serve the country. Public defenders serve the country. Judges serve the country as much as cops, firemen, the people who tow away accidents on the highways, the person who takes your application for social security, doctors, sewer workers and street sweepers.

        [edit to add one I left out: journalists serve this country]

        The military is not a litmus test of patriotism. It is not the exclusive club of people who serve their country.

        That thinking, however, is EXACTLY what the Pentagon paid the NFL for .

        Guess they got their money’s worth.

        • Brutus

          Since I am a teacher and military vet, I have answered JFK’s call to not ask what the country can do for me, but what I can do for the country. I find these words sacred, not utter nonsense.

          What is it about that Iwo Jima picture that tugs at millions of American heartstrings? The flag you desecrate.

          How dare you equate a street sweeper’s service to that of a serviceman killed while defending the constitution. Talk about “utter nonsense.. ” Where I wish equality through freedom and liberty, the progressives (aka socialists/ Marxists) aim for equality through restraint and servitude.

          PS . You didn’t say…..I would win both bets, wouldn’t I?

          • Andy K.

            The problem with your argument here is that it assumes that you personally have the power to decide who is American and who is not, based on their “type” of service. I, for one, am glad that being an American citizen is about a collective set of shared values, rather than a single measure of activity (IE, military service). If it was simply about military service that made one an American, I think we would all see a dramatic increase in the enlisted ranks.

            Your opinion is valid, and you’re certainly entitled to it. The issue at stake here with the NFL kneeling protest is bigger than just one opinion. I’m guessing that if I spent time with you and listened to your story, I’d learn about how you came to believe the way that you do about military service and its importance in American civic life. Listen to someone who is protesting, to their satisfaction, not your own, and I think you’ll get an answer.

          • Brutus

            I am confused. You propose …..

            “The problem with your argument here is that it assumes that you
            personally have the power to decide who is American and who is not,
            based on their “type” of service.”

            I believe the Constitution is what determines who is American. Americans have the right to burn the flag, and I do not disagree with that right. (If I were Judge in Texas v Johnson I too would have upheld the right while holding my nose). I still find it disrespectful and an insult to those who lay down the ultimate sacrifice for what that flag stands for. You KNOW this and yet advocate for disrespecting it anyhow. This is why spinning it like it is “unity’ is BS. The “unity” is from those who are unified in being hurt and insulted by your purposeful disrespect. No matter how much you spin, most of America is not buying your “Two legs good, four legs baaaaaddddd.”

          • Can you name any social advance that America has made from the time of the king when protest didn’t involve hurting someone’s feelings?

          • Brutus

            BLM is not for social advance, they push a false narrative for political reasons smearing all who disagree as racists. Their cause and method has created social regression. Progressives and the Social Justice movement are the boys who cried wolf . The statistics just highlighted in Business Insider show the false narrative, BUT the BLM movement has resulted in violence towards police, opposing viewpoints, and created further racial division for political purposes. For goodness sakes, progressives have now declared Cat in the Hat as racist! Only in an Orwellian universe did I consider that possible……….welcome to the Socialist States of America, Posterity be damned.

      • Chris

        You were at the game last night? Cool. I would like to point out that cities are where most people in this country live and we’re just as American as you are, except if you live in Vladivostok.

        So to my point, how do you feel about Trump’s deal on the debt ceiling and continuing budget resolution t with Schumer and Pelosi? How about his verbal agreement to sign a DACA legislative deal?

        • Brutus

          You have tried to pigeonhole me to apply your identity politics. I am mostly libertarian and am very much a fiscal conservative and despise both major parties for enslaving posterity with insurmountable exponentially growing debt..

          As for immigration, whatever the passed law says is what should be followed. Many Presidents, especially Pres Obama, helped devolve this country into a socialistic nightmare where rule of law is not followed, just rule of men. At the heart of Progressive ideology is that the ends justify the means. Any 2nd grade teacher will tell you that will lead to, and may be in itself, EVIL.

          Posterity is now condemned in America to a Race to Mediocrity. The NFL is just a symptom.

  • AL287

    Why don’t we just stop playing the national anthem at sports venues? This would definitely shut down the narcissist in the White House. He wouldn’t have anything to divide the country about.

    Until the 1930’s we couldn’t even agree on a national anthem so our division has been around for almost 100 years.

    The national anthem tune is from a British drinking song. Not ironic considering what goes on at professional ball games. People get liquored up, throw beer on fellow attendees and then drive home like that.

    Trump likes to cause chaos because it diverts the public’s attention away from his failure to lead this country with dignity and purpose.

    What is going on in Puerto Rico is shameful. The residents of this island commonwealth are human beings just like the rest of Americans. Hell, they ARE Americans but they are being treated like they are a poor relation back in Spain.

    The American government has known about the infrastructure problems in Puerto Rico for years and hurricanes have been happening in the Caribbean for millennia.

    Like everything we do here and abroad, we wait until it reaches crisis proportions before we intervene. This has nothing to do with welfare and big government. It has everything to do with human decency and charity.

    I’m ashamed to call myself an American.

    Kudos to Aaron Rodgers for issuing the challenge to the fans. It’s unfortunate many of them didn’t have the balls to participate.

    • Jim E

      > Why don’t we just stop playing the national anthem at sports venues?

      An excellent solution for de-escalating the conflict. But the first team to try it is going to get crucified.

      • AL287

        “An excellent solution for de-escalating the conflict. But the first team to try it is going to get crucified.”

        We have to start somewhere.

        Oddly enough I don’t ever remember the national anthem being played at golf tournaments or tennis events Must be a contact sports thing.

        What we need to do is get Trump out of the White House but with the Republicans in control that is likely a pipe dream.

        The best we can do is hope for change in the mid-terms.

        The divisions between us have been simmering under the surface like a volcano waiting to erupt.

        The volcano has now erupted and the aftermath is going to destroy the country.

        • Paul Drake

          What about not playing Anthem at MN United games? You know, “Real Football” as liberal leaning fans love to point out. They’d probably prefer a multi-lingual agnostic peace hymn anyway.

    • Rob

      I think you’ve nailed the notion of American Exceptionalism quite well.

    • Bridget L.

      I like to sing the song, it’s really the only time I do. How about the media making the decision not to televise it? How about Americans letting their fellow citizens choose what patriotic means to them? I can’t wait for #45 to be a thing of the past.
      BTW, I read the rest of your post and agree wholeheartedly with your stance, except for the ashamed American part, definitely an embarrassed American, but I keep believing we can continue to be better.

  • Gary F

    Ok, so you knelt, or locked arms, or whatever. What comes next?

    • John O.

      The coin toss, I believe.

    • Rob

      Wash, rinse, repeat works for me.

    • Jared

      They continue to discuss and clarify the purpose of these demonstrations on social media. They continue to talk about it to the traditional media during interviews. They continue to work with nonprofits that further the causes they care about. They continue vote and appear in ads to get others to vote and to argue for their cause. Do you need more or will you just say “what comes next?” for every possible action?

      Protests serve the purpose of making your voice heard and while many people take it a step further, sometimes that can be enough.

      • The most effective protests don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

        Like…umm…. and…ummm….

        • Jay T. Berken

          Protest are made to feel uncomfortable. If the Monks of Vietnam set themselves on fire in the middle of the jungle where no one see, well no one feels uncomfortable because no one knows.

        • Jared

          If no one is getting mad or trying to stop you from protesting, you’re doing something wrong (or you should now call it a parade).

    • Racial equity? Any minute now.

      • Gary F

        That’s what they said after Black Lives Matter blocked the freeway and Occupy Wall Street had their big protests years ago. I watched an episode of The Goldbergs one evening last week. They did the show on the “Hands Across America” remember that? It looked like it felt really good. All this kneeling feels good to a lot of folks.

        • It took a LONG time to get rid of separate drinking fountains. It took a long time for people to understand what was really going on Vietnam, a war that didn’t end the minute they killed protesters. It took a long time for people to accept the crimes of Richard Nixon.

          This narrative that because someone is just now finally getting attention and that they therefore must effect immediate change to be considered as having a legitimate grievance is utterly absurd.

          Change has NEVER worked that way.

          • Gary F

            That’s right. Then what happens after this kneeling thing isn’t the current outrage? What next?

          • I suppose they keep trying to explain to you in some other fashion why racial equity is a good idea.

  • Jay T. Berken

    You got to like the humor of Aaron.

    “aaronrodgers12I can’t imagine what kind of social media attacks these cameramen must be enduring after taking a knee during the anthem and wearing a hat.
    #unity #equalityforall #love #cometogether #invitationtojoin”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9778880f1d7367706a20cededee9356ddc6cb9f68a38691b975e75cbf3314714.jpg

  • RC

    Just play ball.
    The players need to leave the rest to the adults.

    • Jay T. Berken

      So the players aren’t adults?

      • RC

        I you’re thinking that narrowly, no.

        • Jay T. Berken

          Who are the adults whom you are talking about?

          • RC

            The non-players. Are you ok?

          • Jared

            So the players are adults and the non-players are adults? Who should play ball while the rest is left to them?

          • Jay T. Berken

            So the players can’t vote?

          • jon

            Are they voting or just playing ball, and leaving the rest to the adults?

          • What did Paul Revere know about politics? The dude was a silversmith?

          • Jay T. Berken

            I guess I do not know what KC’s point is. The players are over 18 years of age and most are citizens, so they can vote and are lawfully protected by the US Constitution. They are not slaves to their trade; they have rights.

            If the NFL teams DO take heed to Trumps call to fire the players taking a knee in protest, you know the lawsuits that will fly in from everywhere about workers rights and wrongful firing. It would be the same if I protest at work of a grievance; fire me OK, but I’m taking you to court.

            Now, you can ask if I would protest at work; nine times out of ten, I would not. I do not want to go through the pain, and I have bills. I give credit to these players; they are stronger in their convictions.

          • jon

            The player also have a union and often contracts to help them that many of us do not have, along with much larger salaries…

            I’m also was not sure what any one in this thread was trying to say, so thanks for at least one clarification.

          • X.A. Smith

            Also, a lot of the non-players are obviously children. This RC guy doesn’t seem to be air-tight.

          • Brutus

            “Can’t” is the wrong word. Complain and denigrate, sure, participate in democracy, no. Instead, advocate for Marxism. Kap, the founder of this protest, didn’t even vote. Hell, he is not even registered to vote. He DOES idolize Castro and wears socks disparaging Police as pigs.

          • Please cite any NFL player over the last week who has advocated Marxism. Also, please define the Marxism as they advocate it. Packers, Vikes, Patriots. Your choice. Keep in mind, now that, Kaeperknick is no longer in the NFL.

            A link and a quote would be helpful.

          • Brutus

            NFL player? How about the near entire Democrat party, Obama administration, education bureaucracy, and media.

            When they supported the BLM, they support the lefts agenda, as does 90% of the media. Race and class baiting is the food and air for the left, as per Marx and Lenin. Socialism and Internationalism are necessary components for communism to succeed.

            As progressive leaders and intellectuals have declared Cat in the Hat as racist, I can give the left no credibility on race relations.

            https://www.commentarymagazine.com/american-society/harvard-study-debunks-police-shootings-myth/

            https://www.city-journal.org/html/myth-racial-profiling-12022.html

          • Racial equity is socialism and Marxism.

            I see.

            Societal change — eliminating separate bathrooms and drinking fountains or the right to vote — have ALWAYS come against opponents of that change who shout, “Communist!”

            They have no ability to see the irony.

    • Rob

      You mean the adults who are clueless as to why the players are taking a knee in the first place, and why it’s a worthy thing to do? I’ll stick with the players, thanks.

  • Ben Chorn

    Someone pointed out elsewhere that “We Stand” is the new “All Lives Matter”

    • jon

      I’ll see their “we stand” and raise them a “we stand united”

  • Brutus

    You say “F- you” to my country, flag, and veterans who died over the centuries protecting it and now you say the right “didnt want to “unify.” What a load of progressive crap.. I have seen this spin-thinking for the last decade and it doesn’t fly any longer. Call me a racist who helped Russia all you want but it will not change the fact the left and NFL are backing a violent, race baiting, Marxist mob (BLM) over respect for those who have served, are serving, or just love America. For progressives (aka socialist/Marxist/Communists/evil SOBS) it is always..”If you don’t agree with me, you are a denier, party of no, racist, bigot. Spin, spin, spin. All I am hearing from this author is Orwellian “Two legs goood, four legs baaaaddd.” (Animal Farm reference) Admit it, you KNEW this would piss us off and that’s why you are disrespecting the flag, me, and mine. Mission accomplished.

    In August I gave away to goodwill 40 years worth of NFL gear and will never watch again. Just got a refund on my Sports Illustrated subscription and ESPN is no longer on my TV. If you are still supporting the NFL, you are supporting hatred of America. You are free to do so, but now I say back to you “F- you.”.

    • // you say the right “didnt want to “unify.”

      Straw. Meet man. Who said that?

    • kennedy

      “If you don’t agree with , you are a denier, party of no, racist, bigot.”

      So if someone doesn’t agree with you, they are “…backing a violent, race baiting, Marxist mob…” Double standard in stereotyping.

      But to the main point, what has you so angry? People seeking equal rights? I see that as working to unify our great nation. You seem to see it as dividing us.

      • Brutus

        It is not someone who disagrees with me, it is someone who purposely disrespects what millions hold dear. Very few have done that. No double standard….I am a big fan of Voltaire. People seeking equal rights? Yea, thats what this is about……NOT. What a transparent crock of horse hockey. Translating this comment all I read is spin, spin, spin.

        As to why am I angry? If in protest I urinated on MLK’s statue, no one would be upset because I am protesting serial adulterers?. ( I would never do this since I can look past great people’s unavoidable flaws)

        I am also angry since my sanctuary from the news of the world (my job to keep informed) was watching the NFL for 45 years. No more. Goodwill has our accumulated NFL collection. ESPN and SI have our cancelled subscriptions, and I will never attend a NFL game again, unless to protest outside.

        Can you on the left resist character assassination in lieu of a reasonable argument? Doubt it.

        • // Can you on the left resist character assassination in lieu of a reasonable argument? Doubt it

          Your assertion that the protest isn’t about racial equity is based on your experience as a — I’m guessing — white man judging what the life, meaning, and thoughts of a black person in America are, a judgement you are wholly unqualified to make.

          Is that itself racism? Maybe. Maybe not. At the very least it’s arrogance born of ignorance because you can… not… know what it’s like to be a black person in America unless you are one.

          What you’re experiencing is people trying to rid you of your ignorance and you not recognizing — yet — that there’s a perspective that you don’t know and to which you should be open IF you actually believe in what the flag stands for more than your love of a piece of cloth.

        • kennedy

          If you consider it your job to be informed, I humbly suggest you would be better at that job if you were to do a bit more listening and thinking and a bit less pre-judging and overreacting. Peace, fellow American.

          • Brutus

            . According to the Word Of Kennedy, I am closed minded, a shallow thinker, judgmental without cause, and making a mountain of a molehill. You provide no facts, no interpretive commentary, No surprise. That is all progressives seem to have is insult and bullying (with a kind signoff) and I called it in my reply.”(Can you on the left resist character assassination in lieu of a reasonable argument? Doubt it.”) Your lack of substance indicates that maybe it is not I so much who needs to listen and think more. Peace and Love back at ya.

    • Rob

      Always nice to welcome another thoughtful, calm contributor to the News Cut universe. And you, too.

      Last time I looked, people exercising their free speech rights weren’t telling you or anybody else to “F off,” nor were they hating on America. Near as I can tell, you’ve got the market on obscenity-based name-calling and hatred cornered.

    • Jay T. Berken

      “but FU”

      You need a hug.

  • Mike Worcester

    There was a meme making the rounds (I avoid meme wars so no, I don’t have a copy of it), about how the NHL players were showing up the football players in their respect to the flag and the anthem — apparently now it’s a competition between major sports to show whose more patriotic?

    But I also can recall watching Black Hawks games from the old Chigaco Stadium, where the fans there made a sport (no pun intended) of hooting and hollering during the anthem to the point that by the third verse, you could not hear the singer; and it still happens now. Is that any more or less disrespectful compared to what a small handful of NFL players are doing?