Show of Solidarity

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar November 5, 2017 12:25

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Show of Solidarity

By Derek Miller © Derek Miller (October 19th 2017)

On Bended Knee

Taking a knee has become the favoured method to protest police brutality through sport in the USA. Now, it’s gone international. Hertha Berlin players and officials knelt in solidarity with the recent NFL protests.

A number of NFL players have ‘taken a knee’ in recent months and German Bundesliga club Hertha showed solidarity for the ongoing protests in the United States before their game on Saturday.

“Berlin is colourful,” the Hertha stadium announcer told the fans in attendance. “Hertha BSC stands for diversity and against violence. For this reason, we are joining forces with the protest of our fellow American athletes to take a stand against discrimination. For a tolerant Berlin, both now and forevermore.”

After the teams greeted each other prior to kick-off, Hertha, whose match-day squad included players from 10 different nations, knelt in their own half and looked towards the marathon gate of Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

Solidarity Against Discrimination

In the dugout, Hertha’s Hungarian coach Pal Dardai, the entire staff and substitutes also knelt. Jonathan Klinsmann, son of former U.S. men’s national team coach Jürgen, is the only American player at Hertha but was not involved in the match-day squad on Saturday.

Speaking after the game, Hertha 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.

“I’ve been here for 21 years, and we’ve always been against discrimination of any kind and against racism”, he said. “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.”

Kalou’s Support

Ivorian forward Salomon Kalou, formerly of Chelsea, told reporters: “Hertha always stands against racism. If we can fight against that as a team, and as the city of Berlin, then that’s something we want to do.

“I think Hertha is living a good example to fight against this phenomenon. The idea comes from the whole team. We stand against racism and we will always fight this behaviour as a team, as a city.

“At Hertha we always fight against racism. For us, kneeling down is a way of fighting against this kind of behaviour. It should not exist in any kind of sport. Not in NFL, and not in football or soccer, like they call it in the U.S, it shouldn’t exist in any sport, period. For us, it’s a good example to show.”

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar November 5, 2017 12:25