German Soccer Team Kneels in Solidarity with NFL

Posted October 16, 2017

The starting line-up, substitutes, chief executive Michael Preetz, chief coach Pal Dardai and the training staff all knelt down prior to kick-off in a show of support for the actions being taken predominantly by National Football League players in the United States.

"Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility", said a tweet posted on the official Hertha Berlin account.

Hertha explained the action on Twitter, saying the team represents "a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore". "Hertha BSC stands for diversity and against violence. For this reason we are joining the protest of American athletes and setting a sign against discrimination", the stadium announcer told more than 50,000 fans attending the game at Berlin's Olympiastadion, originally built for the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. "There are some people, however, who are not that far ideologically yet", Hertha defender Sebastian Langkamp said.

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While Hertha's actions may have gained them goodwill around the world, it didn't help their performance on the pitch, losing 2-0 to Schalke.

The German national anthem is not usually played before Bundesliga games, and was not on Saturday.

Kneeling as a form of silent protest began previous year, when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did it while the national anthem was being played before a preseason game.

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The nation that just a few short decades ago slavishly supported a fascist who promised to rid the country of Jews and racial minorities is hardly in a position to take a knee to promote social justice.

New Orleans Saints take a knee before their match at Wembley. "We stand against racism and we will always fight this behaviour as a team, as a city".

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