U.S. Soccer repeals rule that banned kneeling during anthem

The US Soccer board has voted to withdraw a 2017 policy that requires players of the national team to hold out during the national anthem, a rule passed after Megan Rapinoe knelt in support of Colin Kaepernick.

The board made the decision at a conference call, US Soccer announced on Wednesday.

Policy 604-1 states: “All persons representing a national team of the Federation will act respectfully while playing folk songs at any event in which the Federation is represented.” The board adopted the rule on February 9, 2017.

One person with knowledge of the discussions about the policy said that the new President Cindy Parlow Cone first raised the revocation of the rule last week and called for the special board meeting. The person asked to remain anonymous because the process was not made public. Three players were invited to give their opinion.

“We have not done enough to listen – especially to our players – to understand and recognize the very real and meaningful experiences of black and other minority communities in our country. We apologize to our players – especially our black players – staff, fans and anyone who supports the eradication of racism, ‘American football said in a statement on Wednesday. “Sport is a powerful platform for good and we haven’t used our platform as effectively as we should. We can do more about these specific issues and we will do it. ”

The Council of American Football Athletes, which includes current national team players Alex Morgan and Ali Krieger, as well as former players such as Landon Donovan, called on American football to also apologize for the policy of establishing a “positive future relationship ‘ to improve.

“Then and only then do we feel that a new chapter can begin between the USSF and its athletes. In addition, we urge US Soccer to develop a plan of action items targeting anti-racism that will be publicly shared with its athletes, key stakeholders and fans, ”the council said in a statement earlier this week.

The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association also called for apologies from American football and a plan to address racial inequality.

Until USSF does this, the mere existence of the policy will cloud the misconceptions and fears that the true meaning and significance of Colin Kaepernick, Megan Rapinoe and other athletes who master knee – that black people in America are not exist not to have the same freedoms and liberties as whites and that police brutality and systemic racism exist in this country, “the players said in a statement.

Rapinoe took a knee during the national anthem during a few games of the national team in 2016. She said she wanted to express solidarity with Kaepernick, the former quarterback of San Francisco 49ers, who silently took a knee during the national anthem for NFL- competitions to raise police awareness of cruelty and racial injustice.

Kaepernick and Rapinoe received sharp criticism of the protest for years. But sentiment among the public has changed since George Floyd’s death last month and subsequent protests.

A black man, Floyd, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed and said he was unable to breathe. His death sparked protests in Minneapolis and across the country, some of which turned violent.

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