Green Bay Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy issued a statement in response to comments made Friday night by President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in which he called for NFL players to be “fired” for not standing during the national anthem.
“It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.”’
The comments that Murphy and leaders of other NFL teams felt needed to be addressed included Trump saying, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!”
To this point, no players on the Packers have taken a knee or been seated during the anthem, though tight end Martellus Bennett held his first in the air prior to the season opener against Seattle as his form of protest. However, several took to Twitter on Saturday to show their displeasure with Trump’s words.
“I’m OK with being fired for what I believe in,” wrote Bennett.
Teammate Davante Adams, who uses his Twitter account sparingly, also commented.
“We’ll “stick to football” when we see progress,” the wide receiver wrote. “Our Nations leader can’t even set a good example of how it looks to be a great American.”
Green Bay will host Cincinnati at Lambeau Field on Sunday.