September 28, By Tara Law
Sixteen council members—including several from Queens– took a symbolic knee on the steps of City Hall yesterday to show their solidarity with the NFL players who made the same gesture on Sunday before their games.
In western Queens, Council members Daniel Dromm, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Jimmy Van Bramer participated. Councilman Costa Constantinides did not.
“We #TakeAKnee in solidarity w/others around the country to protest broken police community relations, racism & unfair treatment of immigrants,” wrote Council Member Ferreras-Copeland on Twitter.
The gesture rose to national prominence last year when NFL players, including quarterback Colin Kaepernick, began to take a knee during the national anthem to draw attention to racism and police brutality and to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
The movement gained momentum last week following President Trump’s inflammatory statement that NFL owners should fire these players and accused the players of disrespecting the flag and the military.
“Protesting inequality is patriotic,” Dromm said in a statement. “We need to be allies to those struggling with racism and police brutality on a daily basis. Trump should take a break from social media and learn a thing or two about diversity from Jackson Heights.”
Council Member Costa Constantinides, who represents Astoria, did not participate but issued a statement backing his fellow council members.
“I support my colleagues who took a knee yesterday,” he said. “Their demonstration of their right to free speech and protest of racial inequality is important.”