Northwestern football team to take field with arms locked against Wisconsin


(Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette)

Garrett Dickerson catches a pass. The senior said Northwestern held a “constructive” meeting in which it discussed entering Saturday’s contest with locked arms.

Garrett Jochnau, Print Managing Editor

Last Sunday, national anthem protests and demonstrations of unity permeated NFL action. On Saturday, Northwestern will join the conversation with arms locked when it takes the field against Wisconsin, athletic department spokesman Paul Kennedy confirmed to The Daily.

Though the Wildcats will not be on the field for the national anthem — a common occurrence for teams at Camp Randall Stadium — the players have decided to enter with locked arms, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

Senior superback Garrett Dickerson said Tuesday the team had a constructive meeting in which it came to the decision.

“Everybody is entitled to their own opinion,” Dickerson said. “We just had a good talk about things that happened over the weekend and we’re just trying to figure out what we’re going to do going forward.”

Last weekend’s protests came in response to President Donald Trump’s criticism of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. Professional teams reacted in various ways, including kneeling, locking arms and refusing to stand on the sideline during the anthem.

Dickerson praised the displays of unity and said it was good to see “people come together and stand up for each other.”

Coach Pat Fitzgerald expressed his support in the Tribune for his players’ decision and referred to them as “the leaders of tomorrow.” Coaches and staff will also lock arms alongside NU players Saturday, according to the Tribune.

Amid a tense political climate, Dickerson said he was comfortable taking a stance at the University.

“Northwestern is very open in allowing you to think what you want to think and believing in those thoughts and voicing your opinion,” he said. “So I don’t think it’s necessarily hard to have my own opinion and voice such things at a great campus like Northwestern.”

The Wildcats’ conference opener in Madison, Wisconsin kicks off at 11 a.m. The following Saturday, they will return to Evanston where they routinely take the field for the national anthem.

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