After months of National Football League stars thinking they’re untouchable when crudely snubbing the National Anthem before games, and the public backlash only know raising the mere possibility of consequences for their actions, athletes playing on a bit more down-to-earth level are finding out that cause-and-effect works a little more directly in the real world.
NBC 10 Philadelphia reports that on Saturday, Gyree Durante, an Albright College sophomore and quarterback for the Pennsylvania school’s football team, knelt during the National Anthem for the second consecutive game. Apparently twice was once too often, and he promptly found himself kicked off the team.
A spokeswoman for Albright College said in a statement to NBC10 that Durante was kicked off the team for going against a unified decision.
The players made a team-wide decision to kneel during the coin toss and stand during the national anthem before their Oct. 7 game against Delaware Valley University, according to the spokeswoman.
“This action, which was supported by the coaching staff, was created as an expression of team unity and out of the mutual respect team members have for one another and the value they place on their differences,” she wrote. “It was established as a way to find common ground in a world with many differing views.”
The spokeswoman said the action was recommended by the team’s leadership council, which is made up of 24 student-athletes selected annually by team members. She also said the players had an understanding that there may be consequences for anyone who chose not to support the team.
“One football player, who unbeknownst to the coach and the team, chose not to support team unity and has been dismissed from the team,” she wrote. “He remains a valued member of the Albright College student body.”
Durante describes his actions as “fight[ing] for what you believe in” and “a time when you’ve got to take a stand.” The little darling’s parents expressed on social media support for his protest of “social injustice” — by which they really mean, of course, his ignorant, craven perpetuation of a vicious lie against America’s police — while Durante himself says he’s thinking about transferring to a different college.
Well, it sounds like his former teammates won’t exactly be shedding tears to see him go:
Two of Durante’s former teammates, freshmen Stephen Glynn and Josh Powell, told NBC10 they understood where he was coming from when he decided to protest but also believe he acted selfishly and broke the team’s trust. They claim Durante agreed to stand for the anthem after the team came to a unified decision.
“We trusted him throughout the week, after time and time again he told us he would stand,” Powell said. “When you can’t have a player on a team that you can trust, he’s got to go.”
If this sounds familiar, it’s because the situation is a reversal of what happened with Alejandro Villanueva and the Pittsburgh Steelers: he got hammered for defying a unanimous decision to do something despicable; Durante got canned for defying a unanimous decision to not do something despicable.
Isn’t turnabout grand?