Bears chairman George McCaskey said his initial reaction to learning of Brian Urlacher’s Instagram activity in the wake of the August police shooting of Jacob Blake was disbelief.
“My first thought was maybe his account had been hacked,” McCaskey said.
Urlacher, on Instagram, mocked members of the Milwaukee Bucks for deciding not to play a playoff game against the Orlando Magic, comparing their demonstration to Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre playing a Monday Night Football game shortly after his father died.
The Hall of Fame linebacker also “liked” an Instagram post that read “FREE KYLE RITTENHOUSE!!!! Patriot Live Matter!!!” in reference to the Antioch teen charged with two counts of first-degree homicide and one count of attempted homicide after allegedly shooting three protesters in Kenosha, Wisc., killing two of them.
The Bears quickly distanced themselves from Urlacher’s social media activity in a statement.
“The social media posts in no way reflect the values or opinions of the Chicago Bears organization,” the statement read.
A number of players, former and current, swiftly condemned Urlacher’s posts, which ex-Bears running back Matt Forte tweeted were “void of empathy, compassion, wisdom and coherence. But full of pride and ignorance!” Linebacker Danny Trevathan said Urlacher’s posts were discussed inside Halas Hall, too, in the aftermath of Bears players deciding to not practice on Thursday, Aug. 27.
McCaskey, on Wednesday, emphasized his positive 20-year relationship with Urlacher.
“I would like to talk to him. We haven’t connected yet,” McCaskey said. “But Brian is an outstanding individual who was a great Bear. I’ve known him for 20 years. We’ve shared a lot of triumph and some tragedy. During that time I lost my dad, he lost his mom.
“He’s been a great teammate and one of my favorite things about Brian is we have a program called Home Team Handoff where players can buy tickets to home games and donate them. And Brian seemed to take it as a manner of pride each year to be the player that had the most Home Team Handoff tickets. And because of his generosity, thousands of kids that otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to attend a Bears home game got the chance.
“So having known him for 20 years and knowing the type of person he is, I’m not going to judge him until I talk to him.”