Thursday night's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears was an interesting game to say the least.
After the Packers released a Tuesday statement that invited fans to participate in a national anthem demonstration, many speculated on what would happen during the game Thursday night.
What did the statement say?
The Packers' statement professed their intention to lock arms in unity on the field before the game, and invited their fans to participate in what they called a "moment of unification."
“Join us this Thursday by locking arms with whoever you’re with, stranger or loved one, wherever you are — intertwined and included — in this moment of unification,” the statement said.
This Thursday during the national anthem at Lambeau Field, Packers players, coaches and staff will join together with arms intertwined — connected like the threads on your favorite jersey. When we take this action, what you will see will be so much more than just a bunch of football players locking arms. The image you will see on September 28th will be one of unity. It will represent a coming together of players who want the same things that all of us do — freedom, equality, tolerance, understanding, and justice for those who have been unjustly treated, discriminated against or otherwise treated unfairly. You will see the sons of police officers, kids who grew up in military families, people who have themselves experienced injustice and discrimination firsthand, and an array of others all linking together in a display of unity.
Those of us joining arms on Thursday will be different in so many ways, but one thing that binds us together is that we are all individuals who want to help make our society, our country and our world a better place. We believe that in diversity there can be UNI-versity. Intertwined, we represent the many people who helped build this country, and we are joining together to show that we are ready to continue to build.
Let’s work together to build a society that is more fair and just.
Join us this Thursday by locking arms with whoever you’re with, stranger or loved one, wherever you are — intertwined and included — in this moment of unification.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Tuesday explained the intent of the demonstration.
"This is not a protest. This is a unified demonstration of love and solidarity," he said.
"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," he added.
Rodgers concluded, "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."
What happened during the pregame ceremony?
As country singer and songwriter Tyler Farr began singing "The Star-Spangled Banner," both the Packers and the Bears — on separate sides of the field — linked arms and stood.
Some of the players had their hands over their hearts while others stood stoically by, simply linking their arms with the players flanking them.
While some of the fans opted to link arms instead of placing their hands over their hearts, the majority caught on film stood erectly, with their right hands placed across their chests.
Green Bay Packers fans stand with their hands over their hearts during the singing of the national anthem at Thursday night's game. (Image source: Twitter video screenshot)
Green Bay Packers fans link their arms in unity as requested by the team earlier in the week. (Image source: Twitter video screenshot)
Other reports stated that chants of "USA! USA!" could be heard from the stands. Fan-made signs were also on display in the stands reading, "Protest on your own time, not on my dime," and "We stand."
.@Packers and @ChicagoBears players and coaches link arms during the National Anthem prior to TNF at Lambeau Field. #CHIvsGBpic.twitter.com/A5QfQGHnjk
— NFL (@NFL) September 29, 2017