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Members of the United States women’s national soccer team took a knee during the national anthem and sported anthem jackets declaring “Black Lives Matter.”
Ahead of the International Friendly match against the Netherlands on Friday, members of the U.S. team showed up wearing the jackets with a message they claimed was “not political” but supposedly one aimed at human rights.
“We wear Black Lives Matter to affirm human decency,” the team said in a statement Friday.
“We protest against racial injustice and police brutality against Black people. We protest against the racist infrastructures that do not provide equal opportunity for Black and brown people to fulfill their dreams, including playing on this team,” the statement read.
— Anthony DiCicco (@DiCiccoMethod) November 27, 2020
Most USWNT team members took a knee during the national anthem ahead of the game, a rematch of last year’s Women’s World Cup Final.
The U.S. Soccer Federation this summer repealed a policy banning players from kneeling during the anthem which was implemented in 2016 after Megan Rapinoe made the move in solidarity with the police brutality protest by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) November 27, 2020
A video showing highlights of how the team’s special Black Lives Matter-themed jackets were created was posted on the official USWNT Twitter account.
“We wear Black Lives Matter to affirm human decency,” the caption reiterated. “This is not political, it’s a statement on human rights.
We wear Black Lives Matter to affirm human decency. This is not political, it’s a statement on human rights. pic.twitter.com/QHDAx4iv7k
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) November 27, 2020
The United States men’s national soccer team also sported messaging on their anthem jackets earlier this month.
“With the goal of inspiring action on social justice issues, all of the players had ‘Be the Change’ adorned on the front of their anthem jackets,” the USMNT said on their website.
“The spirit of their message is that each and every person has the ability, opportunity and responsibility to make a difference in our own way,” the USMNT explained. “Also, on the back of the jacket, each player had the opportunity to include a personalized message representing something meaningful to them.”
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) November 16, 2020
The Women’s National Basketball Association dedicated their season to Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old African-American woman who was fatally shot by police in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment back in March. Members of the WNBA and the NBA were allowed to wear jerseys with messages at each of their games this year.
Earlier this year, the USWNT made a statement when members wore their warm-up jerseys inside out to intentionally hide the U.S. Soccer crest in protest on the issue of equal gender pay.
Though the latest supposedly non-political move by the sports team received its usual share of applause from the left, many took to Twitter to call out the jacket messaging and the choice to kneel during the anthem.
Here’s the image our U.S. Womens National Soccer Team presented to the world today, all wearing BLM jackets and only two standing for the National Anthem – the National Anthem of the United States of America, the country they represent.
Jesus Christ… I have no words. pic.twitter.com/rBcCIQJlbd
— Shane ‘Release the Kraken’ G (@the_real_shaneg) November 28, 2020
Thank you so much for letting me know! I can now make sure my family no longer supports the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team. BLM is a terrorist organization. Shame on you. ALL lives matter. Bye!!
— Tracelu (@TracyCrowley03) November 27, 2020
It’s not political? You would not be doing it if it was not political. You choose to not separate black lives matter from BLM which is anything but about black lives. Your political have lost a 20 year supporter of women’s soccer, women’s sports and your game entirely. Gone.
— Philippe Lawrence Boeing (@pboeing1) November 27, 2020
No more watching soccer for me.
— mememe (@mememe12319958) November 27, 2020
How long must the USWNT continue to pander?
— YankeeGiantBlue (@YankeeGiantBlue) November 28, 2020
Super proud of the 2 that stood!! You can actually support the BLM movement& still stand for the THE NATIONAL ANTHEM and all that the flag represents & those brave men & women who have given the ultimate sacrifice to allow us the rights liberties & freedoms we enjoy today🇺🇸🇺🇸
— Jimmythecoach23 (@jimmythecoach23) November 27, 2020
They need to stand for the national anthem or be benched. Nobody wants to see their protesting on the soccer field. Why aren’t they protesting to end the senseless shootings that happen in Chicago, Baltimore? How about demanding justice for the victims of gun violence?
— WQYU.COM (@wqyu) November 28, 2020
Just another “look at me, I’m woke” moment…….
— B Hman (@BobbyH1964) November 28, 2020