Soccer Players Mandated To Stand For The National Anthem

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Megan Rapinoe, a member of the U.S. women’s national team, sent shockwaves through the soccer community when she decided to take a stance against social injustice by kneeling for the national anthem on two separate occasions against Thailand and Netherlands in 2016. On Saturday, (Mar. 4) the U.S. Soccer Federation announced it would be implementing a new policy requiring national team players to “stand respectfully” during national anthems.

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The policy was revealed at the Federation’s general annual meeting in Hawaii Saturday (Mar. 4), but also left penalties for violation of the updated guidelines unclear, which will be decided on a case by case basis, according to Sunil Gulati, president of United States Soccer.

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Women’s national team coach, Jill Ellis told the Associated Press, “I’ve always felt that that should be what we do, to honor the country, have the pride of putting on the national team jersey. I said that previously. I think that should be the expectation.”