Eddie Vedder takes a knee in support of protests
Photo by Francesco Castaldo/Archivio Francesco Castaldo/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder took a knee on Sunday night (September 24th) one song into his solo set at the Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, Tennessee. Just prior to his second song, "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town," Vedder dropped to one knee as a sign of solidarity with NFL players who have protested racial inequality and are now protesting Donald Trump's tirade against them by kneeling during the National Anthem.
- Although a relatively small amount of players followed the lead of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season by taking a knee, many more players, coaches and even owners have shown a unified front in the wake of Trump's call for players who kneel to be fired.
- Pearl Jam itself also voiced its support for Kaepernick and Seattle Seahawks star linebacker Michael Bennett, who claims he was the victim of police violence while in Las Vegas last month. The band tweeted, “We support (Michael Bennett), (Colin Kaepernick), and everyone’s constitutional right to stand up, sit down, or #takeaknee for equality.”
- Vedder also addressed the audience with his concerns over the nuclear brinksmanship being displayed by Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, noting it would take 30 minutes for a nuclear missile to reach his home in Seattle from North Korea.
- Vedder told the crowd, "What would you do? You’d scream at the sky and go ‘What the f**k? How could this f**king happen? But at that point, that’s not gonna do any good whatsoever. What the f**k? Are you kidding us? Can you please stop? Just stop.”
- He continued his criticism of Trump’s taunts at Kim Jong-un, saying, "We all maybe need to raise our voices. We need to request and desire diplomacy . . . It’s called, ‘Quit f**king with the lives of millions and millions of people.’”
READ: Head to Vulture for more on this story
CHECK IT OUT: Watch Eddie at the Pilgrimage Festival