A Pennsylvania college football player was dismissed from his team after he took a knee during the national anthem.
On Oct. 7, Albright College football team backup quarterback Gyree Durante, 19, kneeled for the second game in a row to protest against social injustice and racism, reports WCAU.
“At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand,” explained Gyree Durante. “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,” Durante added. “I believe heavily in this. So I decided to fight for it.”
An Albright College spokeswoman explained Durante had gone against the team’s decision to kneel during the coin toss and stand during the national anthem.
She added the team’s leadership council, which consists of 24 student-athletes elected each year by team members, recommended the move.
“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,” she said, ESPN reports.
“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,” she added. “It was established as a way to find common ground in a world with many differing views.”
Some of Durante’s fellow teammates say they empathize with his position but also understand the council’s decision, adding they believe he acted selfishly.
“We trusted him throughout the week, after time and time again he told us he would stand,” freshmen Josh Powell said. “When you can’t have a player on a team that you can trust, he’s got to go.”
Durante and his family remain unrepentant. The player says he is considering transferring from the college.
The case is just one of many making headlines after NFL players decided to take a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice and racism.
It is an act that has sparked debate nationwide, with President Donald Trump calling it “disrespectful” to the country, the New York Post reports.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, ‘Get that son of a b***h off the field right now! Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!” Trump told supporters in September.