“It’s that kind of prejudicial ideology that puts us in the position we are today as a world.” -Aaron Rodgers
On Sunday, all teams in the NFL paid homage to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris by observing a moment of silence before their games.
However, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the silence was marred by an anti-Muslim slur called out by one of the fans. Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, had tough words for the offender, saying in a post-match interview that he was disappointed with the fan who made the remark. According to Rodgers, it was inappropriate on two counts – both in terms of content and the timing. He added that this prejudice was to blame for the sorry state of affairs today, driving home the point that we all live in an interconnected world.
Although Rodgers declined to comment on what exactly he heard, audio feeds picked up one of the audience yelling “Muslims suck” during the moment of silence. However, this was responded to with a cry of “Have some respect”. While Aaron Rodgers appeared unnerved at the time, this seemed to have upset his game, as the Green Bay Packers lost their home game 16-18 to the Detroit Lions. This also cost them their top spot on the NFC North leaderboard, the Minnesota Vikings becoming the new leader of the pack.
While some teams flew the French flag at their stadiums, the Green Bay Packers displayed the tricolor on their digital scoreboard. All teams in the National Football League were asked by Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, to hold a moment of silence before their matches. The November 13 attacks in France, for which the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS has claimed responsibility, has left 129 dead and another 430 injured, of whom 77 have serious injuries.
Rodger’s actions off the field have earned him much applause, some commenting that he was more in tune in the reality prevailing on the ground than politicians. His Green Bay Packers teammate Clay Matthews said in an interview that it spoke volumes about his character.
Meanwhile, the U.S. President Barack Obama, a self-confessed Chicago Bears fan, likened himself to Aaron Rodgers, praising the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player in 2011 for his ability to see through the circumstances, no matter how difficult. Aaron Rodgers is a Christian.