Hertha Berlin take a knee as Heynckes takes another Bayern bow
Bundesliga round-up: Borussia Dortmund slip up at home to Leipzig
Hertha Berlin’s players take a knee before the Bundesliga match against FC Schalke 04. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA
Hertha Berlin players took a knee in solidarity with American sports stars ahead of their Bundesliga game against Schalke on Saturday.
The whole team linked arms and knelt on one knee shortly before kick-off, while substitutes and management repeated the move on the touchline.
In a statement posted on their official Twitter feed, the club wrote: “Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility!
“For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore! #TakeAKnee #hahohe”
The move follows a series of similar protests by NFL players against perceived racial injustice. Those actions have been criticised by United States president Donald Trump.
Last weekend, US vice-president Mike Pence walked out of a match between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers after a number of 49ers players took a knee during the pre-match national anthem.
Bayern Munich celebrated the return of veteran coach Jupp Heynckes as they narrowed the gap to leaders Borussia Dortmund to just two points with a 5-0 thrashing of Freiburg.
Heynckes, who has replaced Carlo Ancelotti until the end of the season, watched as strikes from Kingsley Coman, Thiago, Robert Lewandowski and Joshua Kimmich, plus a Julian Schuster own goal, got the hosts back to winning ways.
Later on, the day got better for Bayern as top dogs Dortmund lost their unbeaten record in a 3-2 home defeat to RB Leipzig which saw both sides finish the game with 10 men.
Dortmund’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Leipzig’s Stefan Ilsanker were both sent off in an eight-minute spell early in the second half.
Hoffenheim lost ground on the top sides as visiting Augsburg twice came from behind to grab a late point at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
The home side broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute when Benjamin Hubner drilled home from the edge of the box after Andrej Kramaric’s initial effort was blocked.
But Augsburg’s persistence paid off in bizarre style in the 89th minute when a deep cross hit luckless Hoffenheim defender Kevin Vogt and ricocheted into the net to wrap up a 2-2 draw.
Hannover continued to slide after their fine start to the season as they suffered their fourth Bundesliga game without a win in a 2-1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Hamburg’s Brazilian striker Walace had briefly brought the visitors back on level terms, but their second, a stoppage-time penalty from Sejad Salihovic, was a mere consolation.