Division III Albright College cuts player for kneeling during anthem
Albright College isn’t exactly a college football program you have heard of. Residing in the Division III ranks, it makes sense that is so, as the university can’t technically offer athletic scholarships to its players. However, Albright College has emerged as a big news story.
The university’s football team “cut” one of its players for kneeling during the national anthem.
There’s a bit of a backstory here. It isn’t (at least supposedly) just the kid being cut for kneeling. According to the school, he was cut for saying he would stand united with his teammates, but then doing the opposite.
Gyree Durante, a backup quarterback at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, is the player who was given the boot.
An Albright College spokeswoman said in a statement that the team’s leadership council, which consists of 24 players, voted to kneel during the coin toss and stand during the national anthem. That is where the supposed disconnect is.
“The football team made a team-wide decision to both kneel during the coin toss and stand during the national anthem,” the spokeswoman wrote in a statement. “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. It was established as a way to find common ground in a world with many differing views.”
As for Durante, he is on the record stating:
“At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand,” Durante told NBC 10 in Philadelphia. “For me, it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.
“I was just taught you fight for what you believe in, and you don’t bow to anyone. I believe heavily in this, so I decided to fight for it.”
ESPN got his parents to chime in:
“He’s doing well, considering,” Durante’s mother told ESPN. “He’s avery strong kid, much stronger than me or my husband would’ve expected. He went to class this morning, so he’s in good spirits. He’s officially a grown man. He made this decision completely on his own.”
“I do think they’ve created a hostile environment there,” Durante’s father Ronnell said. “They’ve already pitted players against him, against players who might feel for him. You feel it as soon as you cross campus. You can. It’s a small campus, you can feel it in the air. Nobody knows what to say or do. I’m just hoping nobody overreacts.”
This feels like it will end up being a he said versus school said situation.