All over America on Sunday, NFL players, coaches and owners took a stand against Donald Trump’s assertion that players who protest during the National Anthem should lose their jobs, by taking a knee, linking arms, or refusing to even appear during the pre-game ceremony. They weren’t the only ones. Popular musical figures like Stevie Wonder and Pharrell also took a knee on big stages in solidarity with those players, and were joined in their protest on Sunday night by Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder.
Vedder was onhand at the Pilgrimage Music Festival in Tennessee as a solo act. After the first song of his set, and just before performing “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town,” the singer hopped down toward the front of the stage and got down on one knee while the crowd cheered wildly below. Later on in the set, he noted that it would take just 30 minutes for a nuclear missile to reach his hometown of Seattle from North Korea.
“What would you do?” he asked. “You’d scream at the sky and go, ‘What the f*ck? How could this f*cking happen? But at that point, that’s not gonna do any good whatsoever.”
Earlier in the day, Vedder Pearl Jam bandmate Mike McCready was at the Seahawks game, where, while donning a Michael Bennett jersey, turned in a sensational guitar-only version of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Pearl Jam shared a shot of McCready to their Twitter account with a message that read, ““We support [Michael Bennett], [Colin Kaepernick], and everyone’s constitutional right to stand up, sit down, or #takeaknee for equality.”