Emma Baccellieri, Deadspin, March 4, 2017
Five months after U.S. Soccer lashed out at Megan Rapinoe for kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest before an exhibition game, they've codified their dislike for silent and non-disruptive self-expression in this form. As of today, they're apparently the first major American sports organization to formally announce a requirement that players stand for the national anthem since Colin Kaepernick sparked anthem protests across several sports last fall. ...Rapinoe, last September:
Players can represent their country only, apparently, if they're willing to represent the version of the country in which U.S. Soccer is most interested in selling.
I am disgusted with the way he [Colin Kaepernick] has been treated and the fans and hatred he has received in all of this. It is overtly racist: "Stay in your place, black man." Just didn't feel right to me. We need a more substantive conversation around race relations and the way people of color are treated. We are not saying we are not one the greatest countries in world. Just need to accept that [it is] not perfect, things are broken. ... And quite honestly, being gay, I have stood with my hand over my heart during the national anthem and felt like I haven't had my liberties protected, so I can absolutely sympathize with that feeling.The new bylaw:
New Policy 604-1
"All persons representing a Federation national team shall stand respectfully during the playing of national anthem at any event in which the Federation is represented."
Passed by the Board of Directors on February 9, 2017