A college quarterback from a Division III school has been relieved of his duties after he knelt during the national anthem.
According to a report from NBC 10 in Philadelphia, backup quarterback for Albright College in Reading, Penn., Gyree Durante was kicked off his team after he did not stand with the rest of his teammates during the anthem.
The Albright team had decided they would kneel during the coin toss but stand for the national anthem. Durante’s taking a knee was seen as a break from the unity the team was trying to create with its planned actions.
For Durante, the decision to take a knee was a gesture in protest of social injustices and racism in the country. “At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand,” said Durante. “For me it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.”
A spokeswoman for the school told NBC 10 that the decision to kick Durante off the team was a collective one. “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.
Former teammates Stephen Glynn and Josh Powell called Durante’s actions selfish, saying that he agreed to stand for the anthem after the team came to a unified decision.
“We trusted him throughout the week, after time and time again he told us he would stand,” Powell told NBC 10. “When you can’t have a player on a team that you can trust, he’s got to go.”