US women’s soccer players not required to stand for national anthem after policy repealed

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ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 18: Megan Rapinoe #15 kneels during the National Anthem prior to the match between the United States and the Netherlands at Georgia Dome on September 18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Players from the United State’s women’s national soccer team now have the option to sit, stand or kneel during the national anthem.

This after the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors voted Tuesday to repeal Policy 604-1, which required players to stand during the national anthem.

Policy 604-1 was put in place after Megan Rapinoe took a knee in solidarity with the peaceful protest inspired by Colin Kaepernick. Several other athletes across the country and world demonstrated similar peaceful protests.

“It has become clear that this policy was wrong and detracted from the important message of Black Lives Matter,” U.S. Soccer Federation wrote in a statement. “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.”

Almost four years after Kaepernick first sat down through the playing of the national anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice, the U.S. women’s national soccer team is allowing the exact thing that cost Kaepernick his job.

The killing of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, has sparked outrage around the world.

“We apologize to our players – especially our Black players – staff, fans, and all who support ending racism,” the statement read. “Sports are a powerful platform for good, and we have not used our platform as effectively as we should have. We can do more on these specific issues and we will.”

Peaceful protests have turned violent and more than two weeks after Floyd’s death, the protests don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

“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,” the statement read. “We cannot change the past, but we can make a difference in the future.”

“Black Lives Matter. We can do more and we will.”

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