NFL players would be best served to ignore criticisms President Donald Trump makes about athletes, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Tuesday.
"I think that the more that we give credence to stuff like that, the more it's gonna live on," Rodgers told NFL.com. "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."
Trump has slammed NFL players the past two seasons for taking a knee or sitting down during the playing of the National Anthem, saying their actions are un-American and they should be suspended or even fired.
Rodgers told NFL.com the anthem protests were not about disrespecting the flag or the military.
"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 said.
"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. But let's not take away from what the real issue is."
The NFL's anthem protests began in 2016 over perceived injustices of African-Americans.
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