Celebrities Back The NFL In Reactions To #TakeTheKnee

By Cameron Glover

As football season gets underway, many are tuning in not to watch the games, but to watch an important movement taking place on the field.

In response to the silent protest started by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the #TakeTheKnee hashtag has begun to surface on social media. Started back in 2016, Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem before games as an act of protest against injustice towards people of color, particularly Black people who are especially vulnerable for police brutality.

The backlash against Kaepernick and others who are taking part in the #TakeTheKnee haven’t stopped the importance of the movement. Just yesterday, President Trump took to Twitter to denounce those who are choosing to #TakeTheKnee, tweeting, “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. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”

Since Kaepernick has begun kneeling during the national anthem, other athletes from around the world have been joining him in protest. However, the backlash against those who are taking part in the protest has been swift and loud. Kaepernick has faced consequences from within the NFL, as the most disliked player in the NFL from a 2016 USA Today poll and even remaining an unsigned player.

After Trump’s tweets particularly went after Stephen Curry and LeBron James, the #TakeTheKnee hashtag began trending on social media, as everyone from fans to celebrities use their platforms to show their support for the athletes being attacked.

Here are a few noted posts from celebrities in support of #TakeTheKnee.

Take the knee. Solidarity.

A post shared by Zendaya (@zendaya) on Sep 24, 2017 at 10:21am PDT

The White House is again urging the firing of people who exercise free speech to fight for equality and justice. Shameful.

— John Legend (@johnlegend) September 23, 2017

Caught on “presidential” tweets & he’s basically a character on an NBC sitcom. You know, a sitcom about a deranged bigot ruining America.

— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) September 24, 2017

It’s that easy. #takeaknee

A post shared by Uzo Aduba (@uzoaduba) on Sep 24, 2017 at 6:50am PDT

Some celebrities got creative with their posts. Yara Shahidi posted a video to her Instagram, sharing that she “[…w]rote this piece after an inspiring day 〰Today was a reminder that the movement is undefined, the movement forgets no one, the movement is unity, is love, is solidarity, is joy, is self care, is taking a knee, is revolutionary.”

bust how @KingJames‘s tweet has 5x the retweets of BLOATUS pic.twitter.com/Y3rirZZvgQ

— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) September 23, 2017

All You Kneed Is Love

A post shared by Mark Ronson (@iammarkronson) on Sep 24, 2017 at 7:16am PDT

I know I shouldn’t talk sports, but trump’s comments re:NFL further prove he’s hellbent on poisoning all aspects of American life.

— John Mayer (@JohnMayer) September 24, 2017

Why is our President moved by the first amendment rights of white supremacists, but not those of black athletes?

— 🌎Joshua Malina🌎 (@JoshMalina) September 23, 2017

Donald Trump is dividing this country — between the decent and the indecent. It’s actually kind of handy.

— 🌎Joshua Malina🌎 (@JoshMalina) September 24, 2017

Think about this. Talk about this. https://t.co/mizKcZFRyG

— Hannah Hart (@harto) September 24, 2017

Don’t be fool guys Carrot face just using this football thing as a distraction from North Korea wanting to blow our shit up

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) September 24, 2017

All these football team owners talking and all lat but when is y’all going to hire Colin Kaepernick ?😠

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) September 24, 2017

Sophia Bush, who is no stranger to speaking out against injustice, also took to her Instagram to join in supporting #TakeTheKnee. She wrote, “Donald Embarrassment-to-us-all Trump called an American citizen exercising his right to free speech, who is peacefully protesting violence + racism, a ‘son of a bitch.’ Trump called a group of NAZIS chanting racial slurs who murdered an American citizen “very fine people.” Let that sink in. I’m damn proud to count myself as a son of a bitch by those standards.”

Donald Embarrassment-to-us-all Trump called an American citizen exercising his right to free speech, who is peacefully protesting violence + racism, a “son of a bitch.” Trump called a group of NAZIS chanting racial slurs who murdered an American citizen “very fine people.” Let that sink in. I’m damn proud to count myself as a son of a bitch by those standards. #TakeAKnee #ProtestInPower #EradicateHate #ImpeachOrange • And for ANYONE daring to say that non-violent protest disrespects anyone who has served our country?? NO. Your right to free speech, your right to protest?? Those are rights FOUGHT FOR AND DIED FOR by our men and women in the military. Our Constitution matters. You don’t like that American citizens are offended by a song that has a third stanza which boasts about murdering slaves?? Maybe you think our ancestors who murdered human beings based on the color of their skin were “very fine people?” Well then you’re against everything our servicemen and women have died for too.

A post shared by Sophia Bush (@sophiabush) on Sep 23, 2017 at 4:05pm PDT

J. Cole also has a particularly interesting thread on the importance of #TakeTheKnee, as he shared on Twitter how people can get involved and make their voices heard.

God bless every player that finds courage to kneel today. But the real power comes from you deciding to not watch.

— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 24, 2017

Same ones who speak out against Trump today, are the same ones that denied a qualified man a job because he took a stand against injustice.

— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 24, 2017

Every day they stay quiet on this they’re saying that they condone what’s happening to Kap and the message it sends.

— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 24, 2017

Your eyes translate to advertising money for the League and it’s owners.

— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 24, 2017

#TakeTheKnee is about spreading awareness about racial injustice, police brutality, and anti-Black racism. It’s important that we continue to show support for those who are putting themselves on the line to stand up for what they believe in, and to give a voice for those who can’t.

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