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US Soccer repeals required anthem kneeling policy
United States Soccer repealed a policy that required players to stand for the national anthem.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 It was initially repealed in June 2020 by the federations’ board of directors after nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.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.”