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Packers' Aaron Rodgers releases surprising statement about Trump and anthem protests

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a surprising statement telling fellow NFL players to ignore the criticism coming from President Donald Trump. (Andrew Weber/Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers, the star quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, had surprising advice for fellow athletes on how to deal with criticism from President Donald Trump over the national anthem protests.

'It takes away the power of statements'

In an interview with NFL.com, Rodgers said that it was best to just ignore whatever the president heaves at players of the NFL or other sports.

"I think that the more that we give credence to stuff like that, the more it's gonna live on," Rodgers said. "I think if we can learn to ignore or not respond to stuff like that — if we can — it takes away the power of statements like that."

Rodgers was referring to statements from the president that NFL players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired from their teams.

Trump also mocked NBA superstar Lebron James in a tweet, but the basketball icon had not yet responded. Rodgers called that decision "absolutely beautiful."

"At a time where he's putting on display his school, which is changing lives, there's no need," Rodgers said. "Because you're just giving attention to that (tweet), that's what they want. So just don't respond."

He was referring to a school that James had opened in his hometown to help encourage underprivileged kids.

Rodgers also made it clear that he supported the idea behind the national anthem protests.

"I don't know how many times we can say, as a player and as a group, how much we love and support and appreciate the troops, and the opportunities this country allows us," he explained. "But this is about equality and something bigger than ourselves, and bringing people together, and love and connectedness and equality and social justice, and putting a light on people who deserve to have the attention for their causes and their difficult situations that they're in."

"You know, people have their opinion — you shouldn't do it during the anthem, you shouldn't do it during this — that's fine," he added. "But let's not take away from what the real issue is."

Rodgers supports military veterans through the Wounded Warrior Project.

Here's how the Rodgers responded to Trump comments during the season:

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