"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 that flag is for", said the "Blurred Lines" singer near the end of his set. He reiterated the sentiment again yesterday (September 24) when he came out as a surprise guest during Dave Matthews' performance at the Charlottesville benefit show.
As the world watched countless National Football League players and athletes take a knee in protest of police brutality, racism, and injustice, a number of celebrities and musicians also joined the movement. Dave Matthews began the concert with a solo performance of "Mercy" ahead of an introduction of Sussan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer who was murdered while protesting a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville on August 12. He reiterated the sentiment with several tweets. With Pharrell a Virginia native, it's easy to see why he felt the need to support his home state, and when given the chance he took a knee as well, and though he never mentioned the National Football League or Trump by name, it was clear that was on his mind.
On Sunday, scores of football players around the country-and even in London-kneeled or locked arms in solidarity, as athletes like LeBron James and multiple N.F.L. team owners condemned Trump's words.
Wonder also performed in Chartottesville, where he once again took a knee and spoke out against the violence. "Tonight I'm taking a knee for America", Wonder said. Singer and activist John Legend penned an op-ed for Slate. "They are the definition of patriotism".
"We must take care of each other, and this planet", he added. "That's the new math".