The NFL anthem protests have spread like a virus onto other teams, with college football Division III Albright College in Reading, Pennslyvania continuing the fashion.
Both coaches and players remained in shock as only one player didn’t follow the rules and defied the entire organization.
The team agreed to kneel while the coin was tossed but stand during the anthem. This was not Gyree Durant’s plan.
Durante decided that despite everyone’s opinions, he would remain on his knees even as the anthem began. The end result was that he got kicked off the team soon after.
“The football team made a team-wide decision to both kneel during the coin toss and stand during the anthem,” a university spokeswoman said. “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. It was established as a way to find common ground in a world with many differing views.”
As the season kicked off, Durante played in only two games and had one touchdown altogether. As far as the anthem goes, he knelt a total of two times. So, he protests more than he scores? Shocker.
“At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand,” Durante said.“For me, it just happened to be on a Saturday afternoon.
“I was just taught you fight for what you believe in, and you don’t bow to anyone. I believe heavily in this, so I decided to fight for it.”
Albright College is part of the Division III Eastern College Athletic Conference.
A spokeswoman for the university released a statement saying the players had the scoop on the ground rules as far as the anthem was concerned, so, in Durante ‘s case, we have a clear disobedience.
“One football player, unbeknownst to the coach and the team, chose not to support the decision of the leadership council and team,” the spokeswoman said. “He has been dismissed from the team but remains a valued member of the Albright College student body.”
Aside from the college, the team made itself heard as well: “Insides these white stripes is a perfect world. Inside this space, the game does not care about the color of our skin. It does not care how thick or thin our wallet is, what kind of car we drive or by what name we call God. It only measures us by how hard we work, how well we work together and how quickly we learn from and teach through its lessons. On this field, nothing is given but everything is earned. It is truly a perfect world,” the statement read.
Josh Powell, who is a freshman defensive end from Tampa, confessed Durante betrayed everyone on his team just so he can protest.
“We trusted him throughout the week, after time and time again he told us he would stand,” Powell said. “When you can’t have a player on a team that you can trust, he’s got to go.”