Albright College, which plays Division III football in the Middle Atlantic Conference, has cut a backup quarterback for kneeling during the national anthem. Gyree Durante, a freshman at the Reading liberal arts college, took a knee during last Saturday’s home game against Delaware Valley University.
The sophomore backup quarterback at Albright College had taken a knee during the national anthem before a game the week before. The gesture wasn’t met with much fanfare, but Albright’s football coach, John Marzka, warned him that if he did it again, he would be jeopardizing his future on the team.
“At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand” said Gyree Durante. “For me it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.”
The team had reportedly decided to kneel before the game and stand during the anthem. The players were told there would be consequences for any other actions. An Albright spokesperson said Durante was dismissed for going against the team’s decision.
“My specific reason is to peacefully protest all the racial and social injustices in our country and what our president had to say about NFL players taking a knee” said the 19-year-old sophomore quarterback who was kicked off the team earlier this week. “I just felt like I didn’t want to stand for the flag if that is how the president felt and that is how the country feels.”
At the recommendation of a 24-player leadership council, which Durante did not get an opportunity to address, the team decided to kneel for the coin toss and stand for the anthem. So, when the 19-year-old took a knee before the game last Saturday against Delaware Valley as “The Star-Spangled Banner” was performed, he was aware he would likely be disciplined.
Durante, a business student on an academic scholarship, said he kept his political views private before this incident. But when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting the national anthem last season in the wake of several high-profile incidents in which black Americans were killed during interactions with police officers, Durante paid attention.He supported the move and its broader mission to call attention to a pattern of institutionalized racism against minorities.
What do you think, should every NFL board follow this example for future kneelers? Share your comments and thoughts!