German Soccer Team Hertha BSC Kneels In Solidarity With NFL Anthem Protests

German soccer team kneels before match in solidarity with NFL protests

The NFL's controversy over the national anthem has spread across the Atlantic Ocean - Hertha Berlin, a German soccer squad, nodded to social struggles in the United States by kneeling before its Bundesliga home game on Saturday.

As the players and staff knelt, a stadium announcer explained the gesture to fans.

In addition to the players on the pitch, who represented 10 different nations, the coaching staff and substitutes on the sideline also took a knee.

"We live in times in which football clubs, who are very much in the spotlight, must work out how to position themselves, and this is in tune with the values and the philosophy of Hertha Berlin", Preetz said. "Hertha BSC stands for diversity and against violence".

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They were unscathed but one of the missiles, on its descent, was intercepted by Israel's Arrow air defence system. Israel's military said it had no intention to escalate the situation further.

In a statement posted on their official Twitter feed, the club wrote: 'Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility!

On Twitter, Hertha tweeted that it stood for "a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world". 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".

Last year, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to protest police mistreatment of black males. The German national anthem isn't played before Bundesliga games, and in fact isn't customary at all in league games throughout Europe.

There's no record of European soccer teams taking a knee before Saturday, but Hertha BSC members are not the first in the sport to join the protest.

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