The Bears were quick to distance themselves from Brian Urlacher in August, when he made divisive comments on social media in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
The words were so jarring, that Bears chairman George McCaskey wasn’t sure it was the former linebacker at all.
“My first thought was maybe his account had been hacked,” McCaskey said, via Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune.
There’s no indication that was the case, after Urlacher complained about NBA players walking away from playoff games in protest of Blake’s shooting by a Kenosha, Wisc., police officer.
“Brett Favre played the MNF game the day his dad died, threw 4 TDs in the first half and was a legend for playing in the face of adversity,” the Instagram post read. “NBA players boycott the playoffs because a dude reaching for a knife, wanted on a felony sexual assault warrant, was shot by police.”
Urlacher also liked a post on Instagram which read: “FREE KYLE RITTENHOUSE!!!! Patriot Lives Matter!!!” Rittenhouse was the 17-year-old charged with first-degree intentional homicide for allegedly killing two people with a rifle during protests in Kenosha.
Those words were startling to McCaskey, who recalled the connections in the locker room and the community outreach work Urlacher did during his 13 years with his team. But until he has a chance to talk to him, he wanted to wait to speak extensively on the subject.
“I would like to talk to him,” McCaskey said. “We haven’t connected yet. Brian is an outstanding individual. He was a great Bear, and I’ve known him for 20 years. . . . Knowing the type of person he is, I’m not going to judge him until I talk to him.”
Others haven’t hesitated, as former teammate Matt Forte openly criticized him, saying the words were “void of empathy, compassion, wisdom and coherence. But full of pride and ignorance!”
There are many beyond McCaskey who would like to hear from Urlacher, but at the moment, there’s a wedge between the Hall of Fame linebacker and the franchise he once represented.