FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Joe Biden Kneeling For The National Anthem At An Event In Miami?

Bradley Devlin | General Assignment & Analysis Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 3,200 times purportedly shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden kneeling during the national anthem at a Miami event.

Verdict: False

Biden did not kneel during the national anthem during the pictured event. Captions of photos taken at the event indicate he kneeled to take a photo with dancers, and a Miami Herald reporter present said the national anthem was not playing in the background at the time.

Fact Check:

In the image being shared, Biden is kneeling beside his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, who remains standing. Traditionally clothed dancers stand behind them. The image was widely shared on Facebook with captions claiming it shows Biden kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

“Taking a knee during the National Anthem!! Let that sink in,” reads the caption for this particular post. “A PRESIDENTIAL candidate taking a KNEE during our NATIONAL ANTHEM!!! Taking a KNEE for the very freedoms you claim you are going to protect and defend!! NO THANKS!!”

Check Your Fact found the photo, taken by Jacqueline Charles for the Miami Herald, on the website Getty Images. The caption reveals that Biden was actually kneeling for a photo, not to protest during the national anthem. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Joe Biden Kneeling In Protest After Seeing An American Flag)

“Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice president Joe Biden at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami on October 5,” reads the caption. “After addressing the invited group, which was kept small due to COVID-19, he and his wife, Jill Biden, posed for photos with members of the Nancy St. Leger Danse Ensemble, which performed during the visit.”

Another photo from the event by The Associated Press describes the situation in a similar manner: “Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden pose for a photo with dancers as they visit Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Miami.”

Charles confirmed in an Oct. 11 Miami Herald article that Biden was not kneeling for the national anthem, saying, “He had just finished addressing the group when at the end of the event someone asked for a photo. There was no national anthem playing in the background.”

“It’s a socially distanced photo, and most people kneel so that everyone can be seen in the photo,” Charles added. “Before COVID, everyone would have just stood in a tight space. But that couldn’t be done, so he kneeled as the dancers stood in the back.”

This isn’t the first time social media users have shared a photo claiming to show Biden kneeling in protest. In July, Check Your Fact debunked a photo people alleged showed Biden kneeling in protest upon seeing an American flag that, in reality, showed him kneeling to speak to a child, according to C-SPAN footage of the instance.

Bradley Devlin

General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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