Hertha Berlin 'take a knee' before Schalke match

Oct 15, 2017, 00:38

Hertha Berlin's starting lineup linked arms then took a knee before their Bundesliga match at home against Schalke 04. "Hertha BSC stands for diversity and against violence".

The demonstration was not done during the playing of the German national anthem, because the German national anthem is not routinely played before Bundesliga matches.

The action was meant to show solidarity with National Football League players who have been demonstrating against discrimination in the United States by kneeling, sitting or locking arms through the anthem before games.

This seems to be the first such protest both outside of the United States and in men's soccer.

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

Speaking after the game, Hertha's sporting executive Michael Preetz told reporters: "We live in times in which football clubs, who are very much in the spotlight, must work out how to position themselves, and this is in tune with the values and the philosophy of Hertha Berlin". Hertha did so with their message being "for an open-minded world".

The gesture, which NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started in 2016 when he knelt during the playing of the national anthem prior to a game, was originally a protest over how the U.S., and particularly the police, treats black people and people of color. Megan Rapinoe kneeled previous year while Rapinoe and four other NWSL players, including Sydney Leroux and Becky Sauerbrunn remained in the locker room during the national anthem last month.

"We're no longer living in the 18th century but in the 21st century. We stand against racism and we will always fight this behaviour as a team, as a city".

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