In the stadium where Adolph Hitler watched the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Berlin’s football club kneeled last week in solidarity with American pro football players protesting the national anthem.
The symbolic protest, carried out before a game, is believed to be the first such protest by an entire sports team outside the U.S., the Comeback reported.
All 18 players on Bertha’s team — with players from ten different countries — kneeled, as did the coaching staff.
“Berlin is colorful,” the announcer said as the team took a knee. “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.”
Like most European soccer leagues, Hertha’s league, the Bundesliga, does not require that a country’s national anthem be played before a match.