By CIARAN FAHEY, Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) — Hertha Berlin nodded to social struggles in the United States by kneeling before its Bundesliga home game on Saturday.
Hertha’s starting lineup linked arms and took a knee on the pitch, while Pal Dardai’s coaching staff, general manager Michael Preetz, club officials and substitutes took a knee off it before playing Schalke.
“Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility! For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore!” the club said on Twitter.
The action was intended to show solidarity with NFL players who have been demonstrating against discrimination in the U.S. by kneeling, sitting or locking arms through the anthem before games. Last year, former quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement, which has been harshly criticized by President Donald Trump.
“We’re no longer living in the 18th century but in the 21st century. There are some people, however, who are not that far ideologically yet,” Hertha defender Sebastian Langkamp told Sky TV at halftime. “If we can give some lessons there with that, then that’s good.”