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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers teammates want fans at Lambeau Field for Thursday night's game against Jake Muzzin Jersey the Chicago Bears to join them in linking arms during the national anthem. Most of the Packers' players did that on the sideline before Sunday's game against the Cincinnati, though three players -- Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks and Kevin King -- sat on the bench"This is about equality," Rodgers said Tuesday. "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, and 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." It sounds as if all the players -- even the ones who sat during the anthem on Sunday -- will participate after they held a meeting to discuss it. "I think it was Marty's idea," said Kendricks, who sat he sat during the anthem to bring awareness to people in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria. "Aaron spoke first and he kind of laid it out and laid out the fact that he's on our side and he understands the message being conveyed and trying to get across. And then Marty wrote a statement and in the statement he said we're going to lock arms and he's going to challenge the fans to lock arms as well, so it kind of puts them in a position where it's like, 'Look you're either going to unite with http://www.officialkingsteamstore.com/Jeff_Carter_Jersey us or you're not.' I think that's really cool because it puts them in a position where it's like now we're talking to you, so you make a decision, peacefully make a decision." Rodgers called the team meeting about it "fantastic." "We kind of talked about a lot of things -- things I'm not going to talk about because it's meant for just the locker room -- but I think there's been a great sense of unity and love and support in this locker room, guys coming together," Rodgers said. "Outside the building, I think the message has been diluted a little bit and it's been kind of taken away from what we were trying to do: show a united front, guys linking up together. There's been a lot of hatred on my social media, probably other people's social media as well. Frankly don't understand it, a lot of itPittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva met the media Monday to discuss what happened prior to Sunday's game in Chicago. While some NFL players knelt, sat or locked arms during the anthem Sunday as a show of unity and form of protest to comments made by President Trump, the Steelers had planned to stay in the locker room instead of making any gesture on the sidelines. But Villanueva was photographed by himself in a tunnel by the field with his right hand over his heart during the anthem at Soldier Field. ADVERTISEMENT Villanueva, a former http://www.rangersteamonline.com/Mark_Messier_JerseyArmy Ranger who toured several times in Afghanistan, explained what happened: Alejandro Villanueva: This is humbling. So I'll first address the last 48 hours of events and what's transpired. This national anthem sort of ordeal has been out of control, and I think there's a lot to blame on myself, and I want to address it. So Saturday night, as you guys all know, there was a team meeting that was going to determine what we were going to do as a team. Coach [Mike] Tomlin gave us the guidance that we had to do it as one, so 100 percent, whatever it is that we had to do. There was disagreement in what we were going to do. And the only course of action was to go inside and remove ourself from the situation. It was never to disrespect the national anthem. Every single one of my teammates is extremely supportive and extremely patriotic in this locker room. And I can not only say that for this locker room, but I can say that across the NFL, every single player that I've gone against. After the meeting ... based on my unique circumstances and based on the fact that I've served in the Army and pretty much that my life is lived through the military, I asked Ben [Roethlisberger] if there was a way to define the inside or where it is we were going to stay and if I could watch the national anthem from the tunnel, and he agreed. He said the captains will be out there right behind me, so this plan morphed to accommodate this tough, moral dilemma that I had in my hands to where the players can be behind me in the tunnel. Ben Roethlisberger said at 56 make sure you're out there because the national anthem is going to start at 57. I walked out at 12:56. I asked one of the security guards when the national anthem was going to start, he said 20 seconds. So I just walked out and I stopped as soon as I saw the flag, as soon as I had a vantage point. That, to me, was enough. There was a flag that was coming in from one of the previous celebrations. When I turned around to sort of signal everyone to come so they wouldn't leave me alone that's when they were essentially unable to exit. At that moment it was the decision of do you walk out of the national anthem and join your teammates? I know that would have looked extremely bad. Or as a team, do you start moving halfway through the national anthem? So essentially what we can get out of this is we butchered our plan to sort of have a response for the national anthem and respect everyone's opinions. I would say that my personal thoughts about the situation is that regardless of this plan, very few players knew that I was going to the tunnel because I only asked the team leadership. And because of that I did not give them an opportunity to stand with me during the national anthem. That is the very embarrassing part of my end in what transpired, because when everybody sees an image of me standing by myself, everybody thinks that the team, the Steelers, are not behind me, and that's absolutely wrong. It's quite the opposite. They all would have ... actually the entire team would have been out there with me, even the ones who wanted to take a knee would have been with me had they known these extreme circumstances that at Soldier Field, in the heat of the moment, when I've got soldiers, wounded veterans texting me that I Martin St. Louis Authentic Jerseyhave to be out there, I think everything would have been put aside, from every single one of my teammates, no doubt. So because of that, I've made Coach Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault, and that is my fault only. I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault, and my fault only. And I made the Steelers also look bad, and that is my fault, and my fault only. So unwillingly, I made a mistake. I talked to my teammates about the situation, hopefully they understand it. If they don't, I still have to live with it, because the nature of this debate is causing a lot of very heated reaction from fans from players, and it's undeserving to all of the players and coaches from this organization
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