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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, pose with dancers on a visit to Miami's Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Oct. 5. (AP) Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, pose with dancers on a visit to Miami's Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Oct. 5. (AP)

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, pose with dancers on a visit to Miami's Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Oct. 5. (AP)

Hayat Norimine
By Hayat Norimine October 13, 2020

No, Joe Biden didn’t take a knee during national anthem at Miami event

If Your Time is short

• Joe Biden was photographed kneeling during an Oct. 5 campaign stop in Miami.

• The national anthem was not playing at the time, two journalists present at the event confirmed. 

• The photo was taken at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, where Biden posed with dancers standing behind him. 

A photo of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a group of dancers in Miami has been making waves on social media. 

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

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

The photo shows Biden kneeling next to his wife, Jill Biden. A group of dancers wearing colorful dresses and face masks posed behind him in front of a mural. 

The photo that went viral was taken by Jacqueline Charles, the Miami Herald’s Caribbean correspondent. Similar photos were also taken the same day by Andrew Harnik for the Associated Press, and appear in the AP’s image gallery

Both Charles and Harnik said the national anthem was not playing at the time Biden was kneeling. (Biden’s campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.)

Featured Fact-check

Charles told PolitiFact and the Miami Herald that someone asked for a photo with Biden and the dance troupe in the background. She didn’t ask Biden why he was kneeling and didn’t think it was unusual, she said. They were trying to maintain social distance and capture everyone in the photo.

"Of all the photos taken today of #Biden’s appeal to #Haitian voters, it’s interesting this one is going viral," Charles tweeted on Oct. 5.

Controversy over taking a knee during the national anthem began in 2016, when NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat or knelt during the pregame ritual as a form of protest against racial injustice and police brutality. Some other NFL players followed his lead. Critics denounced the gesture as disrespectful or unpatriotic.

A similar claim on Facebook was made when Biden knelt in Nevada during a group photo with performers at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Oct. 9. 

Our ruling

The Facebook post claims that Biden took a knee during the national anthem, using a photo from an Oct. 5 event at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami. 

Biden knelt during a group photo with performers, who stood behind him. The photo was taken by a Miami Herald correspondent. Two journalists present at the event confirmed that the national anthem was not playing at the time. 

We rate this claim False.

Our Sources

Facebook post, Oct. 10, 2020

Twitter post, Oct. 5, 2020

Getty Images, accessed Oct. 13, 2020

AP Images, accessed Oct. 13, 2020

Snopes, "Did Biden Kneel in Protest During the National Anthem?" accessed Oct. 13, 2020

The Miami Herald, "Fact check: Biden did not kneel during the national anthem," accessed Oct. 13, 2020

The New York Times, "Eric Reid: Why Colin Kaepernick and I Decided to Take a Knee," accessed Oct. 13, 2020

Facebook post, Oct. 11, 2020

AP Images, accessed Oct. 13, 2020

Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Biden slams Trump, courts Latinos in Las Vegas," accessed Oct. 13, 2020

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More by Hayat Norimine

No, Joe Biden didn’t take a knee during national anthem at Miami event

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