College football player kicked off team for kneeling during anthem
The Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins apparently are not the only teams with policies requiring players to stand for the national anthem, and a similar rule has cost one college football player his roster spot.
Gyree Durante, a backup quarterback at Division III Albright College in Reading, Pa., kneeled during the national anthem for the second straight game on Saturday to protest racism and social injustice. His teammates decided to kick him off the team after Durante went against a unified decision.
“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.”
A university spokeswoman told NBC10 that players came together before Albright’s Oct. 7 game and decided they would kneel during the coin toss and stand during the national anthem going forward. Durante apparently did not agree with the decision.
“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 spokeswoman said. “It was established as a way to find common ground in a world with many differing views.”
The spokeswoman explained that a leadership council of 24 student-athletes decided on the procedure the team would follow, and players knew there would be consequences for going against it.
“One football player, who unbeknownst to the coach and the team, chose not to support team unity and has been dismissed from the team,” she added. “He remains a valued member of the Albright College student body.”
Two other Albright players, freshmen Stephen Glynn and Josh Powell, told NBC10 that their sophomore teammate assured them he would stand with the rest of the team, but Durante broke the team’s trust. Durante said he will continue to voice his opinions the way he sees fit and is considering transferring schools.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made some of the strongest comments to date about anthem protests recently, and he’s clearly not the only person who wants them to stop.