In response to President Donald Trump’s insults and threats against NFL players who protest during the national anthem, players and fans alike are taking a knee against racism and police brutality in the U.S.
Sunday saw the largest protest from NFL players yet, as some 24 players from the Baltimore Ravens took a knee at Wembley Stadium in London during the U.S. national anthem, while players from the Jacksonville Jaguars and other Ravens players, who did not kneel, locked arms throughout.
The issue has traveled across social media, with NFL fans and anti-racist activists announcing their support for the movement using the hashtag #TakeAKneeNFL.
During a visit to the southern state of Alabama Friday, Trump attacked NFL players, "Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired.’”
On Saturday, the president continued his rant tweeting, “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great America Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!"
The president continued to harshly criticize both the NFL and the NBA, going to so far as to "uninvite" the basketball champion team, the Golden State Warriors, to the White House, after superstar Stephen Curry criticized the president for his remarks saying he would not attend a White House event.
The team responded to Trump, saying they would use the time in Washington to “celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion – the values that we embrace as an organization.”
Celebrities and superstars alike are joining the movement which began last year when San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality against African Americans in the United States.
Earlier this week while performing in Central Park, artist Stevie Wonder took not just one, but two knees, for justice.
“I’m taking both knees, both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, our leaders of the world and our globe – amen,” the musician said while his son Kwame Morris knelt down beside him.
News of Jay-Z's refusal to perform at this year’s Super Bowl halftime performance falls in line with the rapper’s consistent support of Kaepernick, who has remained unemployed since March despite his track record and impressive credentials.
According to reports, Jay-Z refused the opportunity to perform at the most viewed event in the U.S. out of respect for the NFL player.