Aaron Rodgers Wants the NFL to Ignore Donald Trump

Aaron Rodgers believes his colleagues and the NFL as a whole should ignore President Donald Trump's criticism, suggesting the league could learn from LeBron James.

Last week, the four-time MVP was mocked by Trump, after appearing in a CNN interview in which he accused the President of using sports to divide the country.

LeBron, however, did not respond to the criticism and Rodgers praised his reaction.

"At a time where he [LeBron] is putting on display his school, which is changing lives, there's no need [to respond]," Rodgers told Michael Silver of NFL Media.

"Because you're just giving attention to that [tweet] that's what they want. So just don't respond."

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers during a game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The QB has urged the NFL to ignore President Donald Trump's comments. Grant Halverson/Getty Images

In his first 18 months at the White House, Trump has repeatedly blurred the lines between politics and sport, particularly with his stance over anthem protests in the NFL.

Late last month, Trump called for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to crack down on NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem.

In a tweet, the president noted that the executive makes $40 million a year and demanded that he "make a stand" and kick out players who continue to kneel in protest.

A few days later, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted Trump brought up the issue far too often for the sake of everyone in the NFL and Rodgers believes the league should just ignore the President's repeated attempts to wade into the debate.

"I think that the more that we give credence to stuff like that, the more it's gonna live on," he added. "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."

With the first game of the season less than a month away, the issue of anthem protests has again reared its head. In July, Trump praised Jones after the latter said Cowboys players will not be allowed to stand in the locker room during the anthem.

The stance clashes with the league's new anthem policy, which states players would have to either stand on the sideline during the national anthem or wait in the locker room.

While the NFL has put the policy on hold for the time being, Jones' comments were lambasted by a number of current and former players. San Francisco 49ers Richard Sherman accused the Cowboys owner of having an "old plantation mentality", while Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins called Jones a "bully" and urged NFL owners to stand up to him.

Rodgers, who has never knelt during the national anthem, has defended his colleagues' right to protest.

"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," the Packers quarterback 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.