The Global Citizen Festival was a night that gathered together artists and citizens purportedly to bring attention to issues around poverty, equality, education and more.
After controversial New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio opened the event in Central Park with a call to action about climate change, musicians took the stage to perform for some 60,000 attendees.
One of those musicians was Stevie Wonder — who decided he was going to be “taking a knee for America.”
“It is only through life we can make life happen through ourselves and each other,” Wonder told the crowd.
He added, “Our global brothers and sisters, I didn’t come here to preach, but I’m telling you, our spirits must be in the right place all the time.”
He also told the audience to “stand down bigotry” and “condemn sexism.” Despite his promise not to "preach," he then, with the help of his son Kwame, dropped to his knees and said, “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.”
“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.”
The “taking a knee” by Wonder seemed to be a reference to the events on Saturday involving President Trump and his words in a campaign speech in Alabama, and then on Twitter afterward, against those who choose to take a knee for the national anthem during sporting events.
Controversial football player Colin Kaepernick infamously did this last season and was unable to find a team to draft him afterwards. Some fans are protesting the NFL for this, while others are protesting due to other players being able to take a knee during the anthem.
Stevie Wonder has grown increasingly political in recent weeks. At the celebrity Hand in Hand telethon for Hurricane Harvey and Irma victims, he opened the show by saying, “Anyone who believes there’s no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent. Lord, please save us all.”
The only thing Wonder's "taking a knee" accomplished was further widening the cultural divide in this country — which was already shockingly evident over the weekend. It seems to be a new hobby of his, judging by the statements he's shoehorned into his last two performances.
Also on Saturday, Oakland A’s rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell — who had attacked President Trump on Instagram earlier in the day — became the first major-league player to kneel during the national anthem before Oakland’s 1-0 win at the Coliseum. “My decision had been coming for a long time,” Maxwell said.
"They're athletes," said one New York dad and veteran. "Why are they doing this? They're paid to play the game." In other words — enough.
(photo credit, homepage image: tom.beetz, Flickr)
Last Modified: September 24, 2017, 11:22 am