Hertha Berlin 'takes a knee' in solidarity with NFL players

Hertha Berlin Staff

The club's coaching staff, officials and substitutes also kneeled.

The action was meant to show solidarity with N.F.L. players who have been protesting police treatment of blacks and social injustice in the United States by kneeling, sitting or locking arms through the national anthem before games.

Hertha Berlin's starting lineup linked arms then took a knee before their Bundesliga match at home against Schalke 04.

According to the teams twitter page, they made a decision to take a knee "in the name of tolerance, responsibility, and a tolerant Berlin". Hertha did so with their message being "for an open-minded world".

"We are living in the 21st century, not the 18th century, but there are some people who haven't developed their ideologies accordingly", one of the the teams players, Sebastian Langkamp, told Sky Sports in an interview, according to the BBC. The German national anthem is not usually played before Bundesliga games, and was not on Saturday.

"Berlin is colourful", the stadium announcer said, "Hertha BSC stands for diversity and against violence".

"For a tolerant Berlin, now and forever".

Hertha Berlin features players from 10 nations and plays in a city with a sizable immigrant population, with almost 1 in 5 residents being foreign nationals. "We are always going to fight against this kind of behavior, as a team and as a city", said Kalou, who acknowledged the action was inspired by the American athletes' protest against discrimination.

In the last few weeks the campaign against racism and for equality in the USA has taken a big step forward as more and more National Football League players have followed Colin Kaepernick in taking a knee.

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