Packers, Bears Link Arms in Show of Unity During Anthem; Crowd Chants USA

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2017

Lambeau Field is seen during the first half of an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

Players from the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers linked arms in unity during the national anthem prior to Thursday night's game at Lambeau Field. 

The Green Bay Press-Gazette's Ryan Wood noted fans in attendance were chanting "U-S-A," while ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky observed there was a "big ovation" prior to "The Star-Spangled Banner." 

The NFL relayed video of the anthem: 

On Tuesday, Packers players issued a statement saying team personnel, including all players, would stand with "arms intertwined" during the anthem and that fans were invited to do the same. 

"We believe that in diversity there can be UNI-versity," the players wrote. "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."

On Thursday night, Wood relayed a photo of the section in front of the press box, which did not show a heavy segment of fans linking arms: 

Prior to the Packers' 27-24 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field in Week 3, almost all Packers players linked arms in a display of unity. 

The exceptions were Martellus Bennett, Kevin King and Lance Kendricks, all of whom sat, according to the New York Times' Benjamin Hoffman and Lance Booth