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Cal stands behind freedom of expression; two Bears appear on Sports Illustrated cover

More on Bears and the state of protest with athletes past and present.

Cameron Jordan and Aaron Rodgers
Sports Illustrated

California Golden Bears alum Cameron Jordan and Aaron Rodgers appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in light of last week’s protests.

Jordan penned an article about the athlete protests and what they meant, as well as refusing to spell Christian McCaffrey’s name correctly because he went to the Farm.

I want to focus on football on the Panthers, on containing the quarterback, tackling [Jonathan] Stewart and [Christian] Macafaree* (*I refuse to spell his name right, he's a Stanfurd kid). But I wonder why athletes who have opinions and have donated to initiatives in the community in which they play or are from are being attacked. Since he's president, I want him to act politically responsible and ACT diplomatic. To act so that those who VOTED for him can be proud of his work. Clearly I'm one of those that voted [against him.]

Rodgers also made the case for all Packers to link arms and come together during next week’s national anthem.

“I think there’s been a great sense of unity and love and support in this locker room,” Rodgers said, “guys coming together. Outside the building, I think the message has been diluted a little bit, and it’s been kind of taken away from what we were trying to do: show a united front, guys linking up together.”

Despite the presence of Bears, I’m not a big fan of this cover though. As much as I appreciate the sentiment, Rodgers really didn’t participate in the protest outside of showing solidarity. Where’s Colin Kaepernick? And what exactly did Roger Goodell do to deserve to lock arms with Steph Curry?

Cal head coach Justin Wilcox also was sure to issue a statement on the validity of athlete protest, and how Cal Bears would be welcome to express their opinion if done in the right fashion. More from Rusty Simmons and the San Francisco Chronicle:

“We want them to have opinions, stand up for who they are and also know the right way to talk about it and communicate their opinions. I think that’s the biggest thing: that we’re respectful in how we do that,” Wilcox said after Monday’s practice. “We want them to be themselves, especially in this environment. …

Cal fans, what are your thoughts on all of this? Let us know in the comments!