Recently, the NFL has made headlines as many different players have taken a knee in protest during the national anthem. The left portrays the controversy as a protest against police brutality towards minorities while the right describes it as an anti-American, divisive act of defiance.
Many people are not happy on either side. Vice President Mike Pence made waves last weekend after walking out of an Indianapolis Colts game when the players kneeled in protest during the national anthem. On the other hand, one professor at Ithaca College argued that the national anthem shouldn’t even be played at sports games. Last year, NFL ratings dropped after viewers boycotted the televised games.
A quarterback at Albright College dissented from his team’s agreed upon plan to protest and was subsequently cut from the team. The team had planned to kneel during the coin flip and then stand during the national anthem thus giving the players a chance to protest while remaining respectful to the national anthem.
Gyree Durante, however, chose to stay kneeling during the national anthem in protest. He explained that he was “taught to fight for what you believe in” and that he won’t “bow to anyone.”
Durante stated to NBC10:
“At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand. For me, it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.”
Many of Durante’s teammates expressed frustration that he betrayed their trust — even though he assured them throughout the week that he would stand.
“We trusted him throughout the week, after time and time again he told us he would stand,” said former teammate Josh Powell. “When you can’t have a player on a team that you can trust, he’s got to go.”
“This action, which was supported by the coaching staff, was created as an expression of team unity and out of the mutual respect team members have for one another and the value they place on their differences.”
Family members of Durante posted on social media in support of him stating that the issue was “bigger than football.” Durante says he plans to continue to fight for social justice in the future and is considering transferring to a new place of higher education in the near future amidst the controversy.
Do you think that Durante should have been kicked off the team? Let us know what you think in the comments below!