Division III football player dismissed for kneeling during national anthem – USA TODAY

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Gyree Durante, a backup quarterback for Division III Albright College, was kicked off the team after kneeling during the national anthem for the second week in a row.

The university acknowledged the decision in a statement.

Durante told NBC10 in Philadelphia that he did it as a protest against social injustices and racism in the country.

“At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand,” Durante told the TV station. “For me it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.

“I was just taught you fight for what you believe in and you don’t bow to anyone. I believe heavily in this. So I decided to fight for it.”

Albright released a statement saying that Durante’s actions went against what the team had decided to do.

“Prior to the football game against Delaware Valley University on Saturday, Oct. 7, and upon the recommendation of the team’s leadership council, which is comprised of 24 student-athletes selected annually by team members, the football team made a team-wide decision to both kneel during the coin toss and stand during the National Anthem,” the statement read. “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. It was established as a way to find common ground in a world with many differing views.

“The team agreed to uphold the council decision, with the understanding that there may be consequences for those who choose not to support the team. One football player, unbeknownst to the coach and the team, chose not to support the decision of the leadership council and team. He has been dismissed from the team, but remains a valued member of the Albright College student body.”

As part of the team had decided to do, a statement was prepared and was read over the public address before the anthem was played.

“Inside these white stripes is a perfect world. Inside this space, the game does not care about the color of our skin. It does not care how thick or thin our wallet is, what kind of car we drive or by what name we call God. It only measures us by how hard we work, how well we work together and how quickly we learn from and teach through its lessons. On this field nothing is given but everything is earned. It is truly a perfect world.

“We believe that our role is to expand the dimensions of this field and take those lessons and teachings with us into our classrooms and our dormitories; into this local neighborhood and back home with us to our families, our churches, our communities and into our society as a whole.

“We storm this field behind the American Flag as a symbol of our commitment, our unity and the value we place on our freedoms. We both kneel and stand tall out of the mutual respect we have for each other and the value we place on our differences; because we believe that teamwork is not about tolerating our differences, but about valuing them.

“We ask all of you to help us expand the dimensions of this field to grow this perfect world outside these stripes.”

 

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