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US Soccer to Reconsider Policy that Bans Kneeling During Anthem

This is a good start, but let’s hope they follow through.

Horan, Heath, Rapinoe & Morgan by Jamie Smed is licensed under CC BY 2.0

US Soccer to Reconsider Policy that Bans Kneeling During Anthem

Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

As the NFL backtracks from it’s anti-peaceful protest rhetoric, other sports organizations and figures are beginning to take a long hard look in the mirror at their own actions and choices.

US Soccer has now entered the chat.

According to ESPN, The US Soccer Federation is considering the removal of a national team policy that required players to stand during the national anthem. A meeting for this week to discuss the repeal has been orchestrated at the behest of USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone, with a formal vote scheduled for Friday.

This move also comes after the German Bundesliga saw teams and referees take a knee prior to the start of their matches this weekend, in support of the protests in the wake of the George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor killings.

The policy came into place in the wake of the 2016-17 NFL Protests, started by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid. Taking a knee then became a symbol of protest, of free speech, but to some, it was an anti-patriotic sentiment.

Policy 604-1, passed at U.S. Soccer’s AGM in 2017, states as follows. “All persons representing a Federation national team shall stand respectfully during the playing of national anthems at any event in which the Federation is represented.”

More specifically it came after USWNT star Meghan Rapinoe took a knee prior to the start of an international match against Thailand. Rapinoe, who would also kneel for the anthem with her club, OL Reign, did so in solidarity with Kaepernick and Reid.

After the first time, she took a knee, prior to a Chicago Red Stars and Seattle Reign FC NWSL match, Rapinoe explained her decision to John D. Halloran of American Soccer Now.

“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it.”

NFL Commissioner came out recently saying that “the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”

We hope that US Soccer finds it in their hearts to do the same.

We here at The Turf have always been of the mind that standing up for what is right and standing up in opposition to hate and violence is necessary. For resources on how to help the fight against systemic racism in the United States please check out the following links: Black Visions CollectiveLGBTQ Freedom FundNational Bail FundReclaim the BlockColor of Change, and Black Lives Matter

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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