Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem has infected not only other NFL teams and youth sport but now the US Soccer teams too. Most notably, women’s soccer.
Megan Rapinoe and other US Soccer players have been kneeling during the anthem to take part in the protest. Now, the US Soccer organization is taking a very public stand against their actions by releasing comments on the issue.
US Soccer released the following statement,
“Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer’s National Teams. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer. In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the National Anthem is played.”
Unlike the NFL where teams play other teams domestically the US Soccer teams play other countries. Thus, not standing for the national anthem is shameful and embarrassing for the United States on not just a domestic but international platform. It makes people question us as well as give us the side eye. Players have a responsibility above themselves to portray the United States in the best possible light. By kneeling they are not doing so.
The public has had a mixed reaction to the national anthem protest. Some liberals scream freedom of speech and expression while others say it’s disgusting to disrespect veterans by not standing. But the US Soccer teams has firmly stood in the right corner and made it clear what side they are on. The right side.