US Soccer Repeals Standing During National Anthem Policy

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After the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team called on the U.S. Soccer Federation to repeal Policy 604-1, which requires players to stand during the national anthem, change happened.

According to a statement from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the policy has now been repealed, no longer requiring players to stand during the National Anthem and an apology was issued.

In a statement on social media, USWNT announced the news with a caption that read, “The U.S. Soccer Board of Directors voted yesterday to repeal Policy 604-1, which required our players to stand during the national anthem. Black Lives Matter. We can do more and we will.”

The full statement reads as follows:

“U.S. Soccer affirms Black Lives Matter, and we support the fight against racial injustices.

[RELATED: U.S. Soccer Player Megan Rapinoe Sends Message to President Trump]

“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. 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 systemic oppression of Black people and people  of color in America. 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. 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.

“It should be, and will be going forward, up to our players to determine ho 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 effforts 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 policy of requiring players to stand during the National Anthem was put in place after US Women’s Soccer player, Megan Rapinoe, kneeled during a 2016 game. A movement NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began to protest police brutality.

“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties,” Rapinoe told American Soccer Now about her actions following the game. “It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”