After Donald Trump’s comments on Friday and Saturday about how NFL players — and any professional athletes — who want to protest the national anthem by taking a knee should be fired, his comments inspired a mass “take the knee” protest.
On Saturday, NFL players and celebrities showed their solidarity with athletes like Colin Kaepernick, who made headlines in Aug. 2016 for refusing to stand for the national anthem to protest racial injustice in the United States.
While numerous NFL players kneeled and locked arms during the national anthem during a Sunday game in London, celebrities lent their voices to the movement.
“I just wanna send some blessings and also, you know, some support to all the players in the NFL,” Diddy said on a video he posted on Instagram. “My message to y’all — even though you ain’t asking, so please receive it because I rarely give ‘em in this way — y’all got a chance to do something really, really, really, really, really great tomorrow.”
“If you all do whatever you do in unity, you can’t be stopped. Just do the math, man,” he continued. “Do the math, stick together, stand up for each other, ride with each other because believe me, we’re all we got and it has nothing to do with football or business. Y’all are our stars, y’all represent us, y’all are our strong heroes. So show that strength, please.”
“It’s about damn time black players! Stand with @Kaepernick7 in solidarity against racist Drumpf. #TakeTheKnee #Bend TheKnee,” wrote musician Sāvion Wright.
“I like when people who told me to respect the Confederate Flag las month scream about respecting the US Flag this month. #TakeTheKnee,” added SiriusXM’s Tell Me Everything host John Fugelsang.
“#TakeaKnee,” wrote Jesse Williams alongside a cartoon of angry men telling Kaepernick to stand up because soldiers died for his right to stand, while two soldiers interject that actually they died for his right to sit or stand.
“I’m taking a knee at home,” wrote radio personality Sway Calloway. “Not watching the #NFL 2day. Disruption is necessary. Economic power is key! 3takeaknee #StandWithKap #ImAmerican.”
“Wow…even #Jaguars owner #Khan @TakeAKneeNFL,” wrote actress Rosie Perez.
Actor John Leguizamo shared a message urging anybody who attended an NFL game this weekend to take the knee to not only support athletes, but to protest Trump’s “ruthless targeting of Black athletes and journalists.”
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Stevie Wonder also took time out of his set at Global Citizen Festival in New York City on Saturday to say, “tonight, I’m taking a knee for America.”
“Not just one knee, but I’m taking both knees,” he added. “Both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, leaders of our world and our globe. Amen.”
During a rally speech in Alabama on Friday, Trump stated, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a b–ch off the field right now. Out, you’re fired.’”
He followed this up by pouring more gasoline on the fire with a series of tweets on Saturday. “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect…our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,” he wrote. “If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”