United States Soccer has added a new policy requiring all players to stand “respectfully” during the playing of the national anthem.
The new policy, announced Saturday states that “all persons representing a Federation national team shall stand respectfully during the playing of national anthems at any event in which the Federation is represented.”
The new bylaw was put in place after former women’s national team player, Megan Rapinoe, took a knee during the playing of the anthem at several soccer matches last fall, according to Fox News Insider.
Rapinoe was following the lead of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest against racial injustice, which caused a mixed reaction from athletes and fans across the nation.
“We have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor the flag while the national anthem is played,” U.S. Soccer said regarding Rapinoe’s actions at the time. Rapinoe is no longer on the U.S. women’s national team roster.
Last week Kaepernick announced that he would be parting ways with the 49ers, but said he planned to stand for the national anthem next season. Unfortunately for Rapinoe, she won’t be on the sidelines to stand or kneel after joining Kaepernick’s protest on the soccer field.
New Policy added to @ussoccer bylaws: Players "shall stand respectfully during playing of national anthem @ which federation is represented" https://t.co/fkVtCI1iHC
— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) 4 марта 2017 г.