Stevie Wonder took a knee in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick at the 2017 Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park on Saturday. “Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America,” Wonder said, dropping to first one knee and then the other. “Not just one knee, but both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, and leaders of our world.” 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.”
The singer then played a crowd-pleasing set that included “Higher Ground,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” and “Sir Duke” as well as a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and a guest appearance from Pharrell Williams.
Wonder’s comments follow remarks made by President Trump at a rally in Alabama last week. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now,’” the president said, adding “’He’s fired. He’s fired!’”
During the 2016-2017 football season, Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem as a sign of protest. His contract with the San Francisco 49ers was not renewed and he has not yet signed with another team.