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US Soccer Federation to Reconsider Anthem Policy After Women’s Team Asks For its Removal

The US Women’s National Team asked for a statement acknowledging that the initiation of the policy by the US Soccer Federation -- which calls for players to stand up for the national anthem when representing the country -- is wrong and have asked them to issue an apology.
Megan Rapinoe of the US women's national team takes a knee in protest during the national anthem

The policy was initiated by the US Soccer Federation after Megan Rapinoe took a knee during a US game against Thailand in 2016.

The US women's national team wants the US Soccer Federation to reconsider the anthem policy it had put in place after Megan Rapinoe started kneeling at pre game renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Furthermore the team wants the federation to publicly acknowledge that the policy was wrong and issue a statement of apology to the team's black players and supporters.

“We believe the Federation should lay out its plans on how it will now support the message and movement that it tried to silence four years ago,” the US women's team said in a statement that was uploaded on the Players association’s Twitter account last night.

The federation has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday where they could consider repealing the policy that requires national team players to stand during the national anthem. The USSF told Reuters in an email that voting regarding the same will take place after Tuesday’s conference call or on Friday at the quarterly executive board meeting.

The USSF, in 2017 passed a rule that required players and personnel to ‘stand respectfully during the playing of national anthems at any event in which the Federation is represented’.

The policy was put in place after co-captain of the World Cup winning team, winger Megan Rapinoe took a knee while the national anthem was being played in a match against Thailand in 2016.

Kneeling for the national anthem -- a sign of protest initiated on the sports pitch by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick -- has become a symbol of the rebellion against police brutality and has been used by protesters across the US over the past 10 days.

Also Read | We Were Wrong For Not Listening, Admits NFL Boss

Kaepernick was the first one to take the knee during pre-game renditions of the anthemin 2016 as a symbol of protest, while a member of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.

The move by the USSF came in after the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that the league was wrong in not listening to players and encouraged them to speak out and peacefully protest.

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