As the U.S national anthem played before the start of matches yesterday, players across the NFL symbolically took to one knee, while the entire Pittsburgh Steelers team remained in their locker room until play commenced.
The show of defiance came after President Trump hit out at players who perform the symbolic gesture, which was started in 2016 by San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a protest against police brutality.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired!”‘, Trump told a crowd during a rally in Alabama on Friday night.
Now, John Legend and Ice Cube have shown their support for the players who subsequently took the knee during NFL games yesterday afternoon, with their support coming after Stevie Wonder showed solidarity during a gig on Saturday night.
Posting on Instagram, Legend shared a photo of himself taking the knee during a show in Hamburg, with his powerful gesture being echoed by images of 1960s civil rights protests in the background.
He also opened up on the reality of police brutality in a powerful column for Slate.
“The players’ protests are important. Because of them, almost every day of the week, we talk about racial disparities. People across this country are suddenly thinking about what it must feel like to be a person of color, watch an officer shoot an unarmed man, and walk away with a pension”, Legend wrote.
Echoing Legend’s impassioned sentiment, rap icon Ice Cube reversed Trump’s insult and referred to him as a “son of a bitch”.
“Never let a son of a bitch distract you from doing what’s right”, he wrote.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) September 24, 2017
In a since deleted Tweet, Mark Ronson also supported Stevie Wonder after his actions were criticised by right-wing American pundit Joe Walsh.
Shit got deleted somehow. But I need this one to stay on the books forever pic.twitter.com/tr2xAMhy1l
— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) September 24, 2017
“Dear piece of shit. Stevie Wonder has brought nothing but joy to millions & millions of people for 50 years. What the fuck have you done”, he wrote.