US Soccer repeals required anthem kneeling policy

- Jordan Mendoza

United States Soccer repealed a policy that required players to stand for the national anthem.

More than 71% of the council voted in favor Saturday at its national council meeting. It was initially repealed in June 2020 by the federation­s’ board of directors after nationwide protests against police brutality and racism. The repeal needed to be approved by the national council for it to be official.

Policy 604-1 stated “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.”

It was put in place in 2017 after USWNT member Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the anthem in solidarity with former 49ers quarterbac­k Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality and systemic racism.

More than 28% of the votes were for keeping the policy in place.

The USWNT stood for the anthem a week ago Sunday before the match against Brazil in the SheBelieve­s Cup.

Some players knelt during the tournament opener against Canada two days earlier.

Left back Crystal Dunn said last week the team has gone beyond protesting the anthem: “I think we decided that moving forward we no longer feel the need to kneel because we are doing the work behind the scenes. We are combating systemic racism.”

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