A sophomore football player at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, said that he was kicked off the team for kneeling during the national anthem.
“At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand,” said Gyree Durante. “For me it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.”
Durante said that, on Saturday, he knelt during the national anthem for the second game in a row, and he was kicked off the team because of his actions.
“I was just taught you fight for what you believe in and you don’t bow to anyone,” Durante said. “I believe heavily in this. So I decided to fight for it.”
A spokeswoman for Albright College said that Durante was kicked off the team because he went against the team’s decision to kneel during the coin toss and stand during the national anthem.
“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,” she wrote. “It was established as a way to find common ground in a world with many differing views.”
Two teammates, Stephen Glynn and Josh Powell, also noted that while they understood Durante’s position, he had repeatedly said that he would be standing for the anthem, so they felt like the team’s trust had been broken.
“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.”