NFL players protesting police brutality get German support
Sheetal Sukhija - Sunday 15th October, 2017
Players from the German soccer club Hertha Berlin knelt in solidarity
They showed support to NFL players protesting police brutality, racial inequality in the U.S.
Gesture meant to show unity with NFL players
BERLIN, Germany - In a bid to show support to NFL players protesting police brutality and racial inequality in the United States, players from the German soccer club Hertha Berlin knelt in solidarity on Saturday.
The German soccer team said in a statement released on its Twitter account that the gesture was meant as a show of unity with NFL players who have knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality and as a call to "stand against discrimination."
The soccer club tweeted, "Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility. For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore!"
Later, the account tweeted another picture showing more players kneeling in front of the team's bench with the message "#TakeAKnee.”
The hashtag became ragingly popular at the peak of the anthem protests and has been used by many in support of NFL players such as former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
ESPNFC said that The Hertha stadium announcer said over the loudspeaker, "Berlin is colorful. Hertha BSC stands for diversity and against violence. For this reason, we are joining forces with the protest of our fellow American athletes to take a stand against discrimination. For a tolerant Berlin, both now and forevermore."
Last month, the debate over protests during the national anthem became a major controversy after Trump renewed his demand that NFL owners “fire or suspend” players who kneel during the national anthem in protesting against racial inequality.
Trump even called on fans to boycott games if the practice continued.
Trump said on Twitter, “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!”
He fired off a second tweet half an hour later, saying, “NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.”
Trump’s comments were dubbed ‘divisive’ by players and triggered reactions from many on the rosters, coaching staffs and front offices of the NFL’s 32 teams.
The protests that followed next became one of the largest protests by NFL players during the national anthem since Kaepernick first began refusing to stand for the anthem in 2016.
Kaepernick had set off a growing movement of protest from NFL players during the anthem and is no longer on a team.
Last year, Kaepernick drew national attention for refusing to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to kickoff.
In August 2016, Kaepernick told NFL Media, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
It followed the high-profile deaths of several unarmed black men during confrontations with police officers.
Kaepernick was widely ostracised for his stance.
He has since been unable to find an employer in the NFL, America's most popular professional sports league.
Trump immediately took credit for his unemployment and said last month, “Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now. He is fired.’”
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