John Legend, Ice Cube, Cardi B & Others Who Took a Knee This Weekend or Supported the Cause

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
John Legend arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena on May 21, 2017 in Las Vegas.

A gesture of protest turned into a symbol of solidarity over the weekend following a Twitter spree from Pres. Trump attacking NFL players who take a knee during the National Anthem. The gesture, which originated last year as a symbol of protest against police brutality and institutional racism, morphed on Sunday (Sept. 24) into a number of teams locking arms or refusing to come out for the Anthem, as well as artists taking to social media to express their support for the actions.

Some took it a step further, such as at the Seahawks-Titans game, where Anthem singer Meghan Linsey took a knee at the end of her performance.

The symbolic gesture quickly ballooned beyond the field, with other artists going down on a knee at shows around the nation, including De La Soul, who went down on a knee during their set at the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas. At his show in Hamburg, Germany, John Legend went down on a knee and raised a fist in the air, a gesture that accompanied a powerful essay the singer wrote for Slate, in which he wrote, "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."


#TakeaKnee #DarknessAndLightTour #GLORY

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On Sunday, Prophets of Rage leader Chuck D. posted an image of the all-star group wearing Colin Kaepernick jerseys and taking a knee in concert.

Ice Cube also weighed in, repurposing Trump's attack on NFL players who don't stand for the Anthem back on the former reality TV star. "Never let a son of a bitch distract you from doing what's right," wrote Cube along with an unflattering image of the president.

They joined a slew of other artists who took a knee in protest over the weekend, including Pharrell Williams, who said, "If I want to get on my knees right now for the people of my city, for the people of my state, that's what this flag is for," during Dave Matthews' Concert for Charlottesville on Sunday night (Sept. 24). Both Matthews and Stevie Wonder took a knee during the show, with Wonder intoning, "I take a knee for America and two knees in prayer for our world."

During the Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, Tennessee, on Sunday, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder took a knee before going into his second song of the evening, PJ's "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town." Also joining the fray was J. Cole, who called for a boycott of the NFL until a "3rd party investigator" determines whether former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick -- who began the concept of taking a knee during the National Anthem as a form of protest against -- has been unfairly denied a job as punishment for his protest.

A parade of other stars voiced their opinions on the issue on social media in light of Trump's inflammatory calls for NFL team owners to fire or suspend players for not standing during the anthem. "I know I shouldn't talk sports," Mayer wrote. "But trump's comments re:NFL further prove he's hellbent on poisoning all aspects of American life."

Nick Cannon posted a blistering 4-minute clip on Sunday called "Stand 4 What?" in which he rhymes about his support for the protesters over a montage of clips chronicling incidents of police violence against black citizens and the legacy of slavery. "Stand 4 what?/ A song about war, not freedom/ That's how you wanna lead 'em?/ Brainwashing your people?/ That's how you wanna treat 'em?"

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