Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder takes knee in solidarity with NFL players

by: KIRO 7 News Staff Updated:

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder took a knee on stage at a Tennessee music festival – in solidarity with football players who are not participating in the nation anthem in the wake of President Donald Trump’s comments on the NFL. 

In a video posted to the band’s Twitter, Vedder leaves his piano platform and takes a knee as the crowd cheers. Vedder was playing a solo set at Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival. 

Scroll down to watch video and keep reading. 


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In another case earlier this month, one of Vedder’s bandmates showed support for Michael Bennett, the Seahawks defensive end who has sat during the national anthem this year.

After Mike McCready, Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist, played the Star Spangled Banner at the September 17 Seahawks game he briefly turned his guitar around to reveal the number 72 – the number of Bennett, who was sitting on the sidelines during the anthem.

 

 

How did we get to 200 NFL players sitting or kneeling? 

The protest campaign that started last year with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and it was down to six players last week. Over the weekend more than 200 participated. 

During a Friday rally in Alabama, Trump struck a nerve with NFL players when he implored team owners to "get that son of a bitch off the field" for protesting during the national anthem.
Trump suggested the NFL was going soft for cracking down on big hits. Players, owners and commissioners past and present chastised the president for his divisive remarks.

Teams across the nation took a knee and linked arms during the national anthem on Sunday, and both the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans remained inside the locker room during it. 

"In this incredibly polarizing time, there’s no longer a place to sit silently. It’s time to take a stand. We stand for love and justice and civility. We stand for our players and their constitutional rights, just as we stand for equality for all people,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said

Trump tweeted Sunday that the league should make it mandatory to stand for the national anthem and that fans should shun anyone who doesn't. 

Many Seahawks fans said they would boycott the game. So, did they? KIRO 7 compared the ratings

We looked at the first two Seahawks’ games this year versus Sunday’s game. The first two games of the year posted a 40.7 household rating. Sunday’s game posted a 34.5, for a decrease of 15 percent. 


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