Berlin soccer team takes a knee to support NFL players

Hertha Berlin Players

The club's starting lineup linked arms and took a knee on the pitch, while coaching staff, officials and substitutes took a knee off it. NFL players have been demonstrating against discrimination in the U.S. by kneeling, sitting or locking arms during the national anthem before games.

In a statement posted on their official Twitter feed, the club wrote: "Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility!"

Wir sind West, Ost und Mitte.Wir sind der Club der Haupt- und Weltstadt - mit Fans aus allen Berliner Kiezen, aus allen... "For this reason, we are joining with the protest of fellow American athletes to take a stand against discrimination".

Ivory Coast forward Salomon Kalou said the whole team was unanimous in its support for the action.

Trump encouraged NFL owners to fire any player who took a knee for disrespecting the flag and the national anthem - he referred to them as a "son of a bitch" - which sparked more players to take up the cause as well as other athletes from other sports across the globe.

We've already seen support of Colin Kaepernick's protest in one form or another spread to the NFL, MLB and the National Hockey League, but now it's gone global. Those actions have been criticised by United States President Donald Trump. "There are some people, however, who are not that far ideologically yet", Hertha defender Sebastian Langkamp said.

The German national anthem isn't played before Bundesliga games, and in fact isn't customary at all in league games throughout Europe.

"We wanted to make a stand against racism", Hertha's captain, Per Skjelbred, said after the team's 2-0 defeat. But they were not the first soccer players to take a knee.

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