According to ESPN FC, Hertha Berlin soccer players and officials kneeled before their Bundesliga match against Schalke, Saturday.
After the teams greeted each other prior to kick-off, Hertha — whose matchday squad included players from 10 different nations — kneeled in their own half and looked toward the marathon gate of Berlin’s Olympiastadion.
In the dugout, Hertha’s Hungarian coach Pal Dardai, the entire staff and substitutes also kneeled.
Ã¢ÂÂ Salomon Kalou (@salomonkalou) October 14, 2017
Hertha Berlin took a knee prior to their match against Schalke in the name of equality. pic.twitter.com/oWBNJGuRgw
Ã¢ÂÂ B/R Football (@brfootball) October 14, 2017
More importantly, the club made sure that their gesture was not ambiguous. This is not simply a show of solidarity with their NFL counterparts on the subject of being allowed to protest—this is solidarity for the protest the NFL players are peacefully voicing.
As the players and staff knelt, a stadium announcer explained the gesture to fans. “Berlin is colorful,” the PA announcer reportedly said. “Hertha BSC stands for diversity and against violence. For this reason, we are joining forces with the protest of our fellow American athletes to take a stand against discrimination. For a tolerant Berlin, both now and forevermore.”
A similar statement on the club’s Twitter account read: “Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility! For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore!”
And those statements were reiterated by staff and players after the match. The team’s sporting executive Michael Preetz spoke with reporters.
“I’ve been here for 21 years, and we’ve always been against discrimination of any kind and against racism. We are Berlin. We are an open-minded city, and we stand for diversity, and that’s what the team and the club wanted to stand up for today.”
Ivorian forward Salomon Kalou told reporters: “Hertha always stands against racism. If we can fight against that as a team, and as the city of Berlin, then that’s something we want to do.
Black lives matter. Just ask Germany. You can watch the moment below.
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