Jun 11, 2020 - Sports

U.S. Soccer allows players to kneel during national anthem

A protester holds a red jersey with the number 7 and "Kaepernick" on it
A protester at a demonstration to protest the killing of George Floyd in Piazza Castello, Turin, Italy on Saturday. Photo: Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

The U.S. Soccer Federation voted to reverse a rule that required players to stand during the national anthem, the organization said in a statement on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The policy was put in place after Megan Rapinoe kneeled in solidarity with the peaceful protest inspired by Colin Kaepernick, who was protesting police brutality, and the systematic oppression of Black people and people of color in America," the Federation said.

  • "It has become clear that this policy was wrong and detracted from the important message of Black Lives Matter."
  • "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."
  • "It should be, and will be going forward, up to our players to determine how they can best use their platforms to fight all forms of racism, discrimination, and inequality."

Driving the news: The NFL said it was "wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier" on the issues of racism and systematic oppression of black Americans on Friday, in a statement that indirectly alluded to its previous response to former NFL quarterback Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem.

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