A Division III football player has been dismissed from his team for kneeling during the national anthem before a game last weekend.
Gyree Durante, a backup quarterback at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, was kicked off the team after he knelt by himself during the national anthem before last Saturday’s 41-6 loss to Delaware Valley University.
An Albright College spokeswoman said in a statement that the team’s leadership council, which consists of 24 players, voted to kneel during the coin toss and stand during the national anthem. Durante then decided to kneel during the national anthem on his own.
“The football team made a team-wide decision to both kneel during the coin toss and stand during the national anthem,” the spokeswoman wrote in a statement. “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.”
Durante, a freshman from Norristown, Pennsylvania, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. He had appeared in two games this season, completing 3 of 8 passes for 35 yards with one touchdown. His name had been removed from the team’s roster on the college’s website on Wednesday morning.
“At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand,” Durante told NBC 10 in Philadelphia. “For me, it just happened to be on 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 a private liberal arts school with an enrollment of about 1,700 students. Its athletics teams compete in the Division III Eastern College Athletic Conference.
The spokeswoman said in the statement that the Albright College players were told in advance that there would be…