The gamers and workers of German Bundesliga crew Hertha Berlin linked arms and knelt for about 12 seconds earlier than their match in opposition to FC Schalke on Saturday in solidarity with NFL gamers who’ve protested racial injustice and police brutality.
Because the gamers and workers knelt, a stadium announcer defined the gesture to followers. “Berlin is colourful,” the PA announcer reportedly stated. “Hertha BSC stands for range and in opposition to violence. Because of this, we’re becoming a member of forces with the protest of our fellow American athletes to take a stand in opposition to discrimination. For a tolerant Berlin, each now and forevermore.”
An analogous assertion on the membership’s Twitter account learn: “Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and duty! For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore!”
Dozens of NFL gamers have knelt throughout the American nationwide anthem earlier than video games ever since Colin Kaepernick initiated the protest – which isn’t a protest of the nationwide anthem, however relatively of social injustice – over a yr in the past. The NFL protests turned extra widespread when President Donald Trump referred to as gamers who knelt for the anthem “sons of bitches.”
The protest unfold to baseball when Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell turned the primary MLB participant to kneel for the anthem. Gamers in different American leagues, such because the WNBA and NBA, have additionally spoken out in opposition to discrimination and racism.
Gamers within the Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League in america have staged comparable protests throughout the anthem. Most just lately, a number of gamers stayed within the stadium’s tunnel throughout the anthem earlier than a match between the Seattle Reign and FC Kansas Metropolis. U.S. ladies’s nationwide crew participant Megan Rapinoe – a kind of Seattle gamers – was one of many first American athletes to precise her assist for Kaepernick. She additionally knelt throughout the anthem earlier than U.S. nationwide crew video games earlier than the U.S. Soccer Federation applied a coverage requiring gamers to face.
The German nationwide anthem will not be performed earlier than Bundesliga video games – the taking part in of the nationwide anthem earlier than regular league video games will not be customary in Europe – however Hertha Berlin took a second out of its pregame routine particularly to make this assertion.
Hertha’s present squad options gamers of 12 totally different nationalities. Its matchday squad featured 10, and its beginning lineup featured seven.
Hertha is believed to be the primary European soccer crew to kneel in solidarity with the American protests.
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Henry Bushnell covers soccer – the U.S. nationwide groups, the Premier League, and far, far more – for FC Yahoo and Yahoo Sports activities. Have a tip? Query? Remark? Electronic mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or observe him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.