US Soccer legislates standing during national anthem

The Equalizer Staff March 4, 2017 36
Megan Rapinoe won't be allowed to kneel while wearing a U.S. Soccer jersey anymore

Megan Rapinoe won’t be allowed to kneel while wearing a U.S. Soccer jersey anymore

U.S. Soccer has passed a new rule requiring “all persons representing a Federation national team” to stand respectfully during the playing of the national anthems before any event where the national teams are involved.

The rule was passed last month but came to light on Saturday in a tweet from FOX Soccer’s Stuart Holden.

In an ensuing Twitter exchange with SI’s Grant Wahl, Holden cited US Soccer president Sunil Gulati in saying there are no preset consequences for not standing during the anthems and that consequences would be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

The notion of not standing during national anthems was rarely if ever an issue until last summer when San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat on the bench in protest before a preseason game. Kaepernick later amended his protest to kneel and Megan Rapinoe followed suit by kneeling before the Seattle Reign’s match against the Red Stars on September 4. After the match Rapinoe said it was a “nod to Kaepernick” who said he was trying to move the discussion of race relations forward by kneeling. Rapinoe later took a knee while playing for the U.S. afterwhich U.S. Soccer released a statement saying they expected players to stand and honor the flag during the national anthem.

Rapinoe has not been in with the U.S. since January camp which concluded before the new rule was passed.

  • guest

    Ugh, cowards at the USSF

    • AGuest2

      Yeah it should have gone further then that. Should have incorporated NWSL as well since the two are so intertwined.

    • guest

      yes, how dare private organizations establish employee conduct rules on private property. the nerve of them.

  • Also called

    604-1 (Rapinoe) Rule.

  • luke

    You have to legislate the respect to your country?
    America hit the skids.

    • TJ

      There is a difference between flag worship and respect for your country. One is forced and idolotrous, while respect is a private feeling.

      • mockmook

        Ummm, it is Country vs Country for the matches.

        What is the point in having these games if countries have no meaning to the spectators and the participants?

        And, again:

        “shall stand respectfully during playing of national anthems”

        Plural, AKA Inclusive.

    • mockmook

      “shall stand respectfully during playing of national anthems”

      Plural, AKA Inclusive.

      Learn to read.

    • TsovLoj

      I spent much of the early afternoon at a counterprotest trying to keep literal fascists from roughing up women half my size. I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d have to do that. Yeah, we’ve hit the skids, but I don’t think the problem is people protesting police repression with a simple kneel. If you’re hung up on symbols of the country and not worried about the people of all sorts that are actually living in it, I think your priorities are skewed.

      • mockmook

        The fascists have been the leftist protesters at universities who continue to assault conservative speakers and/or their supporters.

        • TsovLoj

          If you want to argue that we’re too violent or something, that’s intellectually honest at least, but fascism’s a specific right-wing nationalist and autocratic ideology; it doesn’t just mean a ruffian who doesn’t like your ideas. You guys used to at least call us communists or Marxists or something, which was at least somewhere on the left side of the spectrum if a bit of a catchall.

          • mockmook

            Sorry, facism is a ideology of the left.

            Example: NAZI is National Socialism

          • Constant Weeder

            Right. And the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a democratic republic. Giving something a misleading label is nothing new in the history of propaganda.

          • mockmook

            That socialism is a large component of fascism is a fact.

          • guest

            The extreme right and left converge such that the political spectrum is more of a circle than a line.

          • htm222

            More in practice than in theory.

          • Constant Weeder

            So Mussolini was a socialist? I think the labor movement of the time would have been surprised to learn that.
            Actually fascism doesn’t fit neatly on our current left-right spectrum, it simply means total and totalitarian statism. The ideals of socialism can certainly be perverted to the ends of dictatorship, but the ideal of fascism IS dictatorship.

          • htm222

            A big part of fascism is corporatism, and we see that now. Major corporations influencing and essentially converging with government.

  • kernel_thai

    They should have a bylaw about midfielders passing the ball to forwards in scoring positions. Id stand up for that.

    • NYRick

      Can we add a bylaw for coaches playing players in their proper positions on the NT.

  • Lorehead

    As I said at the time, it makes no sense to protest the flag while accepting money to wear the crest and uniform of the national team, and I don’t want to open the door to other protests of national anthems.

    Protesting at a club game is different, and I think that should be allowed, even though it opens the door to other demonstrations I might not agree with.

    • TsovLoj

      TBH I kind of agree with you in principle, but I don’t like USSoccer forcing the issue in this manner, and frankly, the audience for these NT games is so, so much larger than the club ones that I think for now the compromise you describe is infeasible.

    • NYRick

      Totally agree. Perfectly said. Imagine if 3 or 4 US players sat while another country had something going on politically that they disagreed with. You just can’t do that. It’s not the place.

      And this is also where real courage and commitment comes into play for any of these players protesting the anthem like Kaepernick or Pinoe. They do it knowing they will only get media repercussion or attention and it won’t affect their finances. When it affects someone’s finances, people get very short on commitment or “moving the conversation forward.”

    • Constant Weeder

      The thing about legislating a gesture of respect is that it tends to rob it of meaning. Now standing for the anthem can be seen as just following the rules. (I don’t for a moment suggest that the players are not actually showing respect.)

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  • guest

    They also legislated that pink thongs are no longer allowed at the Olympics.
    This is the new Allie Long rule.

  • Bobby

    Good for you Stuart Holden and US Soccer! My entertainment money is spent on Women’s Soccer games of players playing the game! I don’t want to be entertained by protestors of any kind.

  • truf

    Perhaps US Soccer doesn’t understand what freedom is. there’s more than one way to show love for your country. Has US soccer turned Populist?

  • Joel

    So, disrespecting Sweden still has a stiffer penalty than disrespecting the United States. Guess one shouldn’t be surprised though. Anti Americanism is still hip in many areas.

    • guest

      You can love America and protest the people ‘governing’. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. I despise the alt-right and much of the GOP precisely because I find them anti-American. You can have your own opinion but legislating “respect” seems a bit anti-American to me.

      • mockmook

        And I find the entire left to be anti-American — especially the thugs who assault conservative speakers and/or their supporters on college campuses (usually with the encouragement of large numbers of the faculty on campus).

        Anyway, every player has a grievance against something, and they should all be sitting for the anthems of BOTH countries.

        Or, not.

        • guest

          As if those few violent protesters represent the majority of liberals. Or do the radical white terrorists who have been shooting up brown people properly represent your party?

          • mockmook

            Trump is continually hounded by the liberal media to condemn this or that bad behavior by people with no association to him.

            I don’t see that same liberal media hounding any Democrats to condemn leftist thugs assaulting conservatives and bystanders. Nor do I see any prominent Dems offering any condemnation.

            So, yes, with a double standard like that, I’d say liberals are tacitly approving of the thugs’ actions.

    • guest

      What is American identity anymore? It is quite clear that there are large portions of the country that have absolutely nothing in common in an idealogical sense. We have a failing two party system that is nothing but obstructionist in nature. If things continue in this direction I do not think the ‘union’ will hold. I could see the west and northeast splitting off into their own nations at some point in the future, or just going rogue from whatever happens in Washington.

      • guest

        Canadian here. You west and east coasters can join us. Everything else can become the People’s Republic of Christianstan under god king Trump.

      • htm222

        Which is exactly what Putin wants. Not to mention ISIS.