Larry Fitzgerald explains team's decision to lock arms during national anthem

GLENDALE - Many NFL players decided to sit, kneel or remain in the locker room during the national anthem this past weekend.

The Arizona Cardinals decided to stand for the anthem before Monday night's game vs. the Dallas Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium -- but instead of standing on the sideline, they locked arms and stood in the south end zone while Jordin Sparks sang the Star Spangled Banner nearby.

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Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald locked arms with coach Bruce Arians and team president Michael Bidwill during the anthem. After the game, he explained his team's decision.

"We had a discussion amongst us as teammates and coaches, what guys were comfortable with. It was an open forum. Anybody could say anything, from coaches to players," he said.

"We just talked about a gamut of different things and we came to the conclusion that we wanted to do that, and everybody was on board with it, and that’s what we did."

Fitzgerald said the forum was helpful in reaching an understanding among players and coaches who have widely varying beliefs and backgrounds.

"Everybody has a different opinion. You get 60 guys from different religions, different backgrounds, different races together, there’s going to be some differences of opinion," he said. "But the thing I liked about it is we were able to stick together as a unit, and that’s what it’s about."

Fitzgerald is optimistic that the expression of unity Monday night will bring his team closer together heading into the final 13 games of the regular season.

"I certainly hope so," he said. "I think the guys on this team all respect each other. They understand the climate that we’re living in now with the things that are being said.

"The thing that we try to show is just being unified collectively as a group, and hopefully that will unify us going forward."

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