NFL players and celebrities joined forces over the weekend in a new viral #takeaknee protest.
The movement kicked off after Donald Trump ignorantly proclaimed that any professional athlete that kneels during the National anthem should be “fired.”
“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. He’s fired!’” The Donald said during a rally for Republican senator Luther Strange.
He added, “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
The President even suggested fans boycott the NFL and leave the stadium in counter-protest when they see someone kneeling.
It was Colin Keperick who first took a knee in August 2016 in protest against police brutality in the Black community. And now, all thanks to Trump’s ignorant words, more are jumping on the bandwagon in solidarity.
On Sunday, dozens of NFL players not only kneeled or sat, but locked arms in unity, including the Raiders bench, the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Celebrities even joined the #takeaknee movement, like Tracee Ellis Ross who posted this image on Instagram.
Ross’ black-ish co-star, Yara Shahidi shared this emotional poem for her 1.2 million followers.
#Iwillharness my energy for good! I Wrote this piece after an inspiring day 〰Today was a reminder that the movement is undefined, the movement forgets no one, the movement is unity, is love, is solidarity, is joy, is self care, is taking a knee, is revolutionary. The movement is as fluid as the people in it and represents our collective humanity and a recognition of one another as deserving of love. ⚡️⚡️ thank you to @iwillharness @americaferrera @wilmervalderrama @michaelskolnik @ryanpierswilliams and all of the speakers for a flood of inspiration and a reminder of how essential our artistry and activism is ✨
Diddy, who often remains mum on social issues, even spoke out via social media. “I just wanna send some blessings and also, you know, some support to all the players in the NFL,” Diddy said in a video posted on his Instagram page. “My message to y’all — even though you ain’t asking, so please receive it because I rarely give ‘em in this way — y’all got a chance to do something really, really, really, really, really great tomorrow.”
“If you all do whatever you do in unity, you can’t be stopped. Just do the math, man,” he explained. “Do the math, stick together, stand up for each other, ride with each other because believe me, we’re all we got and it has nothing to do with football or business. Y’all are our stars, y’all represent us, y’all are our strong heroes. So show that strength, please.”
Stevie Wonder even took two knees during the Global Citizen Festival in New York City. “Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America,” Wonder told the audience. “But not just one knee, I’m taking both knees, both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, our leaders of the world and our globe. Amen.”
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 24, 2017
In response to Trump’s inflammatory remarks, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement: “The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”