READING, Pa. (CBS/AP) – Three football players for Division III Albright College in Pennsylvania have been cut from the team, one for kneeling during the national anthem, and two others for not fully kneeling during a coin toss prior to the game.
Sophomore Gyree Durante took a knee before last Saturday’s game. He says he was “taught you fight for what you believe in and you don’t bow to anyone.”
The school says Durante was cut because he violated a team decision to show unity by kneeling during the coin toss, but standing during the anthem.
The school says the players understood there could be consequences for anyone that didn’t support the team’s decision.
Friday, Dr. Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, president of Albright College, announced that two additional players were dismissed from the team after the players chose “not to follow the team’s shared commitment to unity.”
A spokesperson for Albright tells CBS Philly that the two players were not fully kneeling with their team during the coin toss prior to the national anthem.
“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,” said Fetrow. “Coach Marzka validated the evidence, discussed with his staff and with the athletic director, and has dismissed these two players from the team.”
Fetrow called these actions a “breach of trust” that have “clashed with our closely held core values.” Fetrow says going forward, coaches will support their players who choose to either stand or kneel during the anthem. Disciplinary action is under the authority of the coach.
“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,” she said.
The college plans to move forward with a program that will engage the entire Albright community on this topic.
“We will work with trained professionals to create and implement programs that will develop and evolve our skills and ability to communicate across difference,” said Fetrow. “The provost will be partnering with the faculty to engage this work into our academic programs and classrooms, including the Experience Program.”
To read President Fetrow’s full message on the matter, CLICK HERE.