U.S. Soccer won’t stand for silent protesting during the national anthem.
The federation has implemented a policy that requires players, coaches, and anyone involved with the national teams to “stand respectfully” when the national anthem plays before games.
The new rule comes after Megan Rapinoe took a knee during The Star-Spangled Banner before a U.S. women’s game last fall to join Colin Kaepernick‘s protest of racial oppression in the country.
After the star midfielder took a knee, U.S. Soccer released a statement that they have “an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor the flag while the national anthem is played.”
Well, that expectation turned into a requirement when the new policy was revealed on Saturday at U.S. Soccer’s Annual General Meeting:
New Policy added to @ussoccer bylaws: Players “shall stand respectfully during playing of national anthem @ which federation is represented” pic.twitter.com/fkVtCI1iHC
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Stuart Holden (@stuholden) March 4, 2017
The policy does not state a punishment for those athletes who violate it; federation president Sunil Gulati said they will address any ramifications if someone decides to violate the policy.
However, players could get a penalty for more than simply kneeling during the anthem.
Turning one’s back to the flag, making a derogatory gesture, or any number of disrespectful actions would also violate the policy — and the punishment would vary based on just how the person does not “stand respectfully.”
Hmm… this whole “respect the flag… or else!” mentality seems pretty un-American for us — though it does seem to fit in with Donald Trump‘s America.
What do YOU think of the policy? Should players be required to stand during the national anthem?