What do Germany and Pittsburgh have in common? Other than being able to find excellent Bratwurst in either place, both Pittsburgh and Germany were the scene of NFL-style anthem protests on Saturday.
The German soccer team Hertha Berlin, took a knee, during their Bundesliga game on Saturday. Then, a world away, Pittsburgh Panther walk-on kicker Ian Troost, did the same.
Troost knelt for the anthem prior to Pitt’s game against North Carolina State. Senior offensive tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith stood behind Troost with his hand on his shoulder.
Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi supported his player’s decision to protest.
Narduzzi said, “I’m never going to tell a guy you can’t do something,” the head coach said according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “What we’ve talked about is, if you’re going to do that, you’re trying to make a statement, we’re going to stick together. Someone had his hand on his shoulder saying, ‘We’re with you.’”
Narduzzi continued, “I know I’m going to stand and put my hand over my heart.”
However, not all of Troost’s teammates agreed with his chosen method of protest.
Senior cornerback Avonte Maddox said, “Is really taking that knee going to prove anything?” senior cornerback Avonte Maddox said. “That’s a statement for 30 seconds. You want to take action.
“If you really want to get out and do something, we want to go out in the real world and do things to make actual change, not 30 seconds of fame making a statement out there. Is that really going to help us?”
Troost, who is white, did not offer comment after the game.
College football has been relatively free from anthem protests, due to the fact that college teams tend to remain in the locker room for the national anthem.