The U.S. Soccer Federation’s National Council voted for players to be able to have the choice to kneel during the national anthem, according to ESPN.
“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.”
“This is about the athletes’ and our staff’s right to peacefully protest racial inequalities and police brutality,” USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone said. “So I urge our membership to please support our staff and our athletes on this policy.”
At Saturday’s meeting, held virtually because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the vote elicited more responses from those assembled than any other item on the agenda. Most comments were against the repeal, including from U.S. Paralympian and athletes’ council member Seth Jahn in which he made disparaging remarks on the impact of police brutality and slavery in the Black community. The negative comments led USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone to address those assembled and state that the policy repeal wasn’t in any way intended to disrespect the flag or the military.
In the day’s other notable event, Idaho Youth Soccer Association president Bill Taylor was voted to be USSF vice president, gaining him a seat on the USSF board of directors. He beat out former U.S. international Cobi Jones, USSF board member Tim Turney and Metropolitan DC-Virginia Soccer Association president Jim Sadowski in a vote that went two rounds. Jones was the top vote-getter in the first round, but it was not enough to gain a majority. The second round saw Taylor receive 55.94% of the weighted vote to win the election.