A quarterback for an NCAA college football team took a knee to protest America during his team’s game on Saturday. By Monday, he was off of the team entirely, cut by the coaching staff for his actions.
The incident did not occur at one of the larger, Division I schools, but at Division III Albright College in Rading, Pennsylvania.
Gyree Durante, a sophomore at the college, is the team’s backup quarterback. For the past two weeks, he has chosen to kneel during the National Anthem. Prior to this past week’s game, however, the team chose to kneel during the coin toss, to avoid showing disrespect to the anthem. Durante chose to kneel again anyway.
As a result, Durante was kicked off the team. There is no word if any other disciplinary action was taken.
He says he was ‘taught you fight for what you believe in and you don’t bow to anyone.’
The school in Reading says Durante was cut because he violated a team decision to show unity by kneeling during the coin toss, but standing during the anthem.
The school says the players understood there could be consequences for anyone that didn’t support the team’s decision.
‘At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand,’ Gyree Durante told NBC 10 TV.
‘For me it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.’
This was the second week in a row that Durante knelt in protest during the national anthem.
I was just taught you fight for what you believe in and you don’t bow to anyone,’ Durante said.
‘I believe heavily in this. So I decided to fight for it.’
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,’ the spokesperson said.
‘It was established as a way to find common ground in a world with many differing views.’
The decision was reached by a 24-member ‘team leadership council’ comprised of student-athletes who are selected annually by their teammates.