The United States women’s national soccer team issued a statement Monday asking the United States Soccer Federation to repeal its national anthem policy, which requires players to stand during the playing of the anthem before games.
The statement also asked the federation to publicly apologize for the policy and acknowledge it was wrong.
“Further, 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 statement said. “Until USSF does so, the mere existence of the Policy will continue to perpetuate the misconceptions and fear that clouded the true meaning and significance of Colin Kaepernick, Megan Rapinoe and other athletes taking a knee—that Black people in America have not been and continue to not be afforded the same liberties and freedoms as white people and that police brutality and systemic racism exist in this country.”
What’s more, the U.S. Soccer Athlete Council, featuring current and former players from the women’s, men’s, beach and para 7-a-side national teams, issued a statement that “strongly encourages” the federation to repeal the policy.
As Molly Hensley-Clancy of BuzzFeed News reported, the men’s team also condemned the policy: