The legendary Stevie Wonder knelt before his performance at the Global Citizens festival with his son Kwamiw Morris. (Courtesy photo)

Musicians take a knee in support of NFL players

Players across the NFL over the weekend took a knee or locked arms in protest of comments by President Donald Trump. But that gesture spread to other public platforms, too.

Stevie Wonder and Pharrell Williams each knelt during their respictive performances in a show of solidarity for the NFL players.

This symbol of taking a knee made headlines last year when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick elected not to stand for the national anthem in protest of the treatment of black people in the U.S.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said.

In a speech in Alabama on Friday, President Donald Trump made it clear how he felt about the form of protest, despite Kaepernick being with out a team this year.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!’” President Trump said.

At the Global Citizen’s festival in New York on Friday, the legendary Stevie Wonder kneeled in a show of solidarity with the players the president suggested should be fired.

“Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America; but not just one knee, I’m taking both knees,” Wonder said. “Both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, our leaders of the world and our globe.”

Wonder urged attendees to denounce bigotry and racism.

“Our spirit must be in the right place.” Wonder, on stage with his son Kwame Morris, said. “All the time — not just now, but tomorrow and whenever you, whenever you, whenever you need to interrupt hate, stand down bigotry, condemn sexism and find love for all of our global brothers and sisters every day,”

And down in Charlottesville, Va., rapper and producer Pharrell Williams took two knees, too.

“Can’t nobody tell me what to do. If I wanna get on my knees right now for the people in my city, for the people in my state, that’s what that flag is for,” Williams told the crowd at the “A Concert for Charlottesville” on Sunday.

The concert, featuring Dave Matthews Band, Ariana Grande and Justin Timberlake, was hosted at the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium to help the town heal after a violent white supremacist rally last month resulted in the death of Heather Heyer.

Timberlake also took a knee on stage, saying “give yourselves a round of applause for making history. This is what unity does.”

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