The U.S. soccer federation has repealed an anthem policy that required players to “stand respectfully” for the national anthem.
Megan Rapinoe took a knee while the national anthem is sung during the USWNT’s game versus Thailand on September 15, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.
Per UPI, Rapinoe says her peaceful protests, including kneeling before games, have always been “worth it” as the United States Soccer Federation recently repealed a rule against the practice.
Rapinoe made the comments during an appearance Wednesday on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The federation on Tuesday voted to repeal a 2017 rule that required players to stand during the national anthem before games.
Rapinoe started to kneel as the anthem played before games in 2016. Like Colin Kaepernick, she cited policy brutality and racial inequality as her motivation. Kaepernick and Rapinoe, at the time, were not joined by many athletes during the protests and their respective leagues did not offer public support for their stances.
Update, June 11: The US Soccer Federation (USSF) released a statement on June 10 saying that the board of directors voted to repeal the anthem policy requiring players to stand during the national anthem.
“We have not done enough to listen – especially to our players – to understand and acknowledge the very real and meaningful experiences of Black and other minority communities in our country,” the statement reads. “We apologize to our players – especially our Black players – staff, fans, and all who support eradicating racism.” See the full statement here. The repeal will take effect immediately, according to ESPN, but it still needs to be voted on during the next annual general meeting in early 2021, where the policy will either be reinstated or the repeal will stay in place.
…The official account for the USWNT Players Association tweeted out a statement on June 8 that reads, in part, “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 policy, they believe, continues 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 policy brutality and systemic racism exist in this country.” See the full statement ahead.
— USWNT Players (@USWNTPlayers) June 9, 2020