Members of the U.S. women’s soccer team wore Black Lives Matter jerseys and kneeled for the national anthem in the Netherlands on Friday.
During pregame warmups, the team came out of the locker room wearing shirts emblazoned with “Black Lives Matter,” and nearly every team member kneeled as the national anthem played, according to ESPN.
We wear Black Lives Matter to affirm human decency. This is not political, it’s a statement on human rights. pic.twitter.com/QHDAx4iv7k
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) November 27, 2020
“We love our country, and it is a true honor to represent America. It is also our duty to demand that the liberties and freedoms that our country was founded on extend to everyone,” read a statement that members of the team posted on social media before the game, which ended in a 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands.
“Today, we wear Black Lives Matter to affirm human decency. We protest against racial injustice and police brutality against Black people. We protest against the racist infrastructures that do not provide equal opportunity for Black and brown people to fulfill their dreams, including playing on this team,” the statement continued.
“As the United States Women’s National team players, we collectively work toward a society where the American ideals are upheld, and Black lives are no longer systematically targeted.”
“Black Lives Matter,” the statement concluded.
The United States Soccer Federation posted a similar statement on its website, in which they quoted the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA):
Black Lives Matter.
We wear Black Lives Matter to affirm human decency. This is not political, it’s a statement on human rights. As a team, we work towards a society where the American ideals are upheld, and Black lives are no longer systemically targeted. We collectively acknowledge injustice, as that is the first step in working towards correcting it.
To honor the words of the great John Lewis:
“When you see something that is not right,
get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble!”
Black Lives Matter.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly blasted athletes who use their platforms to protest the United States. Most recently, Trump took NFL players to task for kneeling on Thanksgiving.
As The Daily Wire reported:
On Thanksgiving Day, President Donald Trump reacted to NFL players kneeling during the playing of the national anthem with two simple words: “No thanks.”
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Houston Texans Deshaun Watson both took a knee during the anthem, apparently to protest police brutality and racism in the country.
“No thanks!” Trump wrote, captioning a side-by-side photo of the two football players.
Anthem kneeling first popped up in the NFL back in 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to allegedly protest police brutality against black Americans. Kaepernick’s messaging has since included pro-communist signaling and general anti-American sentiment.
President Trump, always an opponent of protesting during the anthem, again fiercely ripped anthem kneeling over the summer when the protesting was seemingly becoming the “new norm” for most professional athletes.
“I think it’s disgraceful,” Trump said of the “new norm,” The Daily Wire reported in August. “I was pushing them to get open, then I see everybody kneeling during the anthem. It’s not acceptable to me.”