Every player on both sides of the field stood during the national anthem ahead of Thursday night’s NFL game.
Players, coaches and staff on the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears were all linked arm-in-arm, and some with hands on their hearts, as American country singer Tyler Farr sang.
Cameras panning around Lambeau Field in Wisconsin showed fans locking arms with one another as well. Some could be seen waving American flags while others were saluting the large one being stretched out over the field.
After the song was over, the entire stadium erupted in cheers and applause.
The show of solidarity comes after a tumultuous week of protests throughout the league after President Donald Trump criticized players who knelt during the anthem.
At a rally in Alabama last week, Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now, out, he’s fired!”
On Tuesday night, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the entire Green Bay Packers team released a statement, asking fans to stand and lock arms with each other during the national anthem before Thursday night’s game. The players said the team coaches and staff were going to join them as well.
“This is about equality,” Rodgers told ESPN. “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.”
On Sunday, most of the team stood on the field together with linked arms, except three players, Lance Kendricks, Martellus Bennett and Kevin King, who chose to sit instead.
All of the Chicago Bears players stood on the field on Sunday during the anthem, with most of them linked arm-in-arm, according to the Chicago Tribune. Chairman George McCaskey released a statement, saying, “This divisive political situation has unified our franchise for the present and future.”