Music legend Stevie Wonder “took a knee” at a New York City concert Saturday night, referencing NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s familiar protest just one day after President Trump made several controversial remarks about anthem protesters in the NFL.
According to a report from Deadline, the 67-year-old Wonder was preparing to perform a medley of several of his most popular recordings at the Global Citizen Festival in New York, when he spoke to the audience, pleading for unity and asking that people’s “spirits be in the right place all the time.” He encouraged audience members to take a stand against bigotry and sexism and to “find love,” and with his son, Kwame, helping him out, Stevie Wonder took a knee and explained the reasons behind his actions.
“I’m taking a knee for America — not just one knee, but both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, and leaders of our world.”
Wonder’s actions at the Global Citizen Festival make him the latest celebrity to speak out in one way or another in support of Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who go down on one knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality. Although Kaepernick, 29, was not specifically named by President Trump as one of the “sons of b***hes” NFL team owners should fire for refusing to stand for the “Star-Spangled Banner,” many have associated him with the president’s controversial remarks, due to his being the first to take a knee in protest during the 2016 NFL preseason.
The HuffPost added that Stevie Wonder’s decision to “take a knee for America” came after the president “doubled down” on the NFL-related comments he made at Friday’s rally for Alabama Senator Luther Strange. On Saturday, Trump tweeted that athletes who “make millions of dollars in the NFL or other leagues” do not have any constitutional rights to protest. Earlier that day, he had also taken back the White House’s invitation to NBA superstar Stephen Curry after the Golden State Warriors point guard said that he won’t accept it.
As further noted by Deadline, impassioned statements about social and environmental issues are nothing new for Stevie Wonder. Aside from taking a knee at last night’s Global Citizen Festival, Wonder had recently made a similar speech at the Hand in Hand telethon for Hurricane Harvey victims, saying that people should come together to help the storm’s victims, regardless of one’s race, religion, sexual preference, or political views. He had also referred to climate change deniers as “blind or unintelligent” for doubting or not believing in global warming and its dangers.
[Featured Image by Michael Noble Jr./AP Images]