College campuses are a place where all voices and forms of protest are welcome. However, it seems that at Albright College all forms of dissent and protest are accepted except kneeling during the national anthem. The Albright College Football team dismissed sophomore quarterback Gyree Durante from the team for kneeling during the anthem on Monday, October 9th, 2017.
Kneeling during the national anthem, has become an increasingly controversial action and form of protest. Recently, President Trump, added his voice to the national discourse around kneeling. He added more fuel to the fire while framing kneeling as disrespectful to the flag and to the military.
Durante started kneeling for the anthem on September 30th, according to, John Mitchell of The Philadelphia Tribune. Durante was told to stand for the anthem by his coach, and two of his teammates forced him to stand during the game against Delaware Valley College.
Last weekend, was Albright College’s Homecoming and before the annual football game, the Albright College Football team decided, that as a show of unity all players would kneel before the coin toss. Every player kneeled for the coin toss and most of the players stood for the anthem, except for Durante who was kneeling again.
Durante is not alone there have been other collegiate athletes who have decided to kneel during the anthem. At Kennesaw State University five cheerleaders took a knee during the national anthem and continue to do so. There have also been players kneeling for the anthem in high school as well.
Many young people are kneeling to show their displeasure with the state of race relations in this country.
Durante and other athletes are following in the footsteps of Colin Kaepernick who started kneeling for the anthem last year as a form of protest. Kaepernick is currently not on an NFL roster, and most people believe it is because of his protest.
Albright College’s motto is “A Different Way of Thinking” Albright teaches its students to think differently. However, Albright College’s Football team was not thinking differently, when it took the uncomplicated way out and dismissed Durante for kneeling and putting himself over the team. Instead, of having a discussion and suspending him. Coach Marzka and his teammates decided to get rid of him and effectively silence the voice of dissent. Much like Kaepernick, Durante sacrificed his football career at least at Albright for social justice.
As a 2012 graduate of Albright College, I am very disappointed with the way the football team handled this situation.