Just one week ago, Albright College quarterback Gyree Durante was dismissed from the football program for choosing to kneel during the national anthem. While that was the gist of the story, it was a bizarre situation in which the team’s leadership council agreed to have the team kneel during the coin toss then stand for the national anthem and, well, Durante did not stand.
Now, Albright College is back in the news for similar reasons, though things are a bit different this time around. According to a release from the school, two additional players have been dismissed from the team for “failing to comply with a team unity decision,” on October 7 according to the school.
“Our ongoing investigation has uncovered additional evidence from last Saturday’s football game, which demonstrates two additional players chose not to follow the team’s shared commitment to unity. These players did not fully kneel when the team kneeled. As before, these actions represent a failure to comply with team decision, actions which carry consequences. Consistent with existing school, Athletics Department, and football team policy and practice, Coach Marzka validated the evidence, discussed with his staff and with the athletic director, and has dismissed these two players from the team.
While these actions were consistent with existing policies and practices, they are not fully aligned with our core values. I have directed the coach, the athletic director, and the team to work together, with professional guidance, to thoughtfully consider and understand how this breach of trust, which resulted in the dismissals, happened. In addition, going forward, if players are on the field or court when the anthem is played, all coaches will support their team players who choose to either stand or kneel during the anthem. All other disciplinary actions are in the authority of the coach (as necessary, in consultation with the athletics directors), as is standard policy and practice. This immediate modification to current practice has the full support of the athletics directors and the Cabinet.”
National anthem protests don’t seem to be going anywhere, but at least one program is making efforts for whatever the decision ends up being, that all remain united.