Hertha Berlin #TakeAKnee prior to Bundesliga match in solidarity with NFL players | inside World Soccer

Hertha Berlin #TakeAKnee prior to Bundesliga match in solidarity with NFL players

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hertha Berlin players take a knee before their Bundesliga match against Schalke
Photo: @HerthaBSC_EN

Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin have shown solidarity with US sports stars by taking a knee before their game against Schalke 04 on Saturday afternoon.

Hertha players gathered close to the centre circle and made the kneeling gesture shortly before kick-off, while coaches, backroom staff and substitutes replicated the move in the team's dugout.

The #TakeAKnee movement is currently sweeping through the sporting world in the United States as a protest against perceived racial injustice.

Former San Francisco 49 quarterback Colin Kaepernick, sickened by the deaths of black people in America at the hands of the police and the inequality in his country, started the campaign last year by kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games.

The campaign, though, has been harshly criticised by US President Donald Trump, who recently denounced those who do not stand for the anthem - even going as far as suggesting that players should lose their jobs for doing so.

With the movement gaining huge momentum in the United States, Hertha have taken it to Europe to raise further awareness around the issue of tolerance.

Hertha Berlin coaches, staff and substitutes take a knee before their Bundesliga match against Schalke
Photo: @HerthaBSC_EN

Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz spoke to the press about the gesture, saying:

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.

I've been here for 21 years, and we've always been against discrimination of any kind and against racism.

We are Berlin. We are an open-minded city, and we stand for diversity, and that's what the team and the club wanted to stand up for today.

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.

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