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U.S. Soccer Reverses Course On Kneeling During National Anthem; Issues Apology, Support For BLM
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The U.S. Soccer Federation repealed the league’s ban on kneeling during the pre-game national anthem on Wednesday following recent protests and riots raging throughout the nation ostensibly over the death of George Floyd, a black male who died last month after a police officer knelt on the 46-year-old’s neck for over eight minutes during an arrest, as shown in viral video footage.

“The U.S. Soccer Board of Directors voted yesterday afternoon to repeal Policy 604-1, which required our players to stand during the national anthem,” U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday.

“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 statement 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,” the organization continued. “We apologize to our players – especially our Black players – staff, fans, and all who support eradicating racism. 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.”

Going forward, U.S. Soccer said, it will be “up to our players to determine how they can best use their platforms to fight all forms of racism, discrimination, and inequality.”

“We are here for our players and are ready to support them in elevating their efforts to achieve social justice. We cannot change the past, but we can make a difference in the future. We are committed to this change effort, and we will be implementing supporting actions in the near future,” the statement closed.

As previously reported by The Daily Wire, Megan Rapinoe began kneeling during the anthem in 2016. “I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” the athlete claimed at the time.

Rapinoe was forced to drop the kneeling act after the U.S. Soccer Federation responded with a policy requiring the national team to “stand respectfully.”

“Our national anthem is an opportunity … 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,” a statement from the organization said at the time.

Despite publicly praising the United States and acknowledging that she will “respect” the standing policy, Rapinoe bashed the bylaw in May, telling Yahoo! Sports: “Using this blanketed patriotism as a defense against what the protest actually is was pretty cowardly. I think the NFL does it. I felt like the statement from U.S. Soccer, and then the rule they made without ever talking to me, that was the same as what the NFL was doing — just to not have the conversation, to try to just stop me from doing what I’m doing instead of at least having a conversation, and trying to figure out a [solution] that makes sense for everyone.”

Moreover, Rapinoe notably refused to put her hand over her heart and sing along to the national anthem during World Cup matches last summer — an act, she later claimed, was an “F you” to “sexist,” “racist,” and “small-minded” President Donald Trump.

Apparently, the U.S. Soccer Federation is now on board with Rapinoe and other players’ protesting.

Since Floyd’s death, all four officers involved in the arrest have been fired, investigations from the FBI and state law enforcement have been opened, and the officer at the center of the incident was taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder; the three other officers involved have since been charged, too.

The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

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