The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Is Calling For A Repeal Of Its Kneeling Policy During The National Anthem
The U.S. women’s national soccer team appealed to the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) on Tuesday to repeal a policy forbidding players from taking a knee during the national anthem.
In a statement about their request on social media, the women’s national soccer team called the policy wrong and requested an apology be issued to the team’s Black players.
In the statement, shared on social media, the team says, “We believe the Federation should immediately repeal the ‘Anthem Policy,’ publish a statement acknowledging the policy was wrong when it was adopted, and issue an apology to our Black players and supporters.”
The statement went onto say that the team believes “the Federation should lay out its plans on how it will now support the message and movement that it tried to silence four years ago. Until USSF does so, the mere existence of the Policy will continue to perpetuate the misconceptions and fear that clouded the true meaning and significance of Colin Kaepernick, Megan Rapinoe and other athletes taking a knee that Black people in America have not been and continue to not be afforded the same liberties and freedoms as white people and that police brutality and systemic racism exist in this country. This is everybody’s responsibility, including this union and its members; we could and should have done more in the past. We are committed to rising up against racist, hateful and unjust acts to effect change. Black lives matter.”
According to ESPN, the USSF’s board of directors is taking the appeal into consideration.
The board will meet with its president Cindy Parlow Cone via conference call Tuesday and will likely have a formal vote about the decision on Friday. Should the policy be overturned it will take effect immediately.
USSF’s national anthem policy was implemented after its team’s co-captain Megan Rapinoe took a knee just before a 2016 match.
Rapino has long been a supporter of equality both for women and marginalized races. In 2016, Rapinoe was inspired by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who kicked off the movement at an NFL game in 2016 to protest racial injustice and police brutality. She was the first white athlete and the first female athlete to kneel in protest at a game.
Rapinoe addressed her decision to protest racial injustice in an essay she wrote for The Players’ Tribune “I haven’t experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member’s body lying dead in the street. But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache,” she wrote.
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