A football player at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, decided to go against his team’s decision to stand for the national anthem last weekend — now he’s been kicked off the team.
The football team decided as a team that they would kneel during the coin toss and then stand for the national anthem. But Gyree Durante, the backup quarterback, kneeled alone during “The Star-Spangled Banner” anyway.
An Albright College spokesperson said the decision to kneel during the coin toss instead of the anthem was a decision supported by players and coaches “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.”
Freshman defensive end Josh Powell told NBC 10 that Durante betrayed his own teammate’s trust after he promised to stand with them.
"We trusted him throughout the week, after time and time again he told us he would stand. When you can't have a player on a team that you can trust, he's got to go,” Powell reportedly said.
Another player on the team told NBC 10 Durante needed to go.
The spokesperson also said players were warned ahead of time that kneeling during the national anthem would result in consequences.
“One football player, unbeknownst to the coach and the team, chose not to support the decision of the leadership council and team,” the spokesperson said, referring to Durante. “He has been dismissed from the team but remains a valued member of the Albright College student body."
Listen to what the players had to say via NBC 10 below.