U.S. Women's National Team

Lloyd, Ellis respond to new U.S. Soccer policy requiring players stand for national anthem


At the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday, March 4, a controversial policy was revealed regarding the national anthem.

The policy states that “all persons representing a Federation national team shall stand respectfully during the playing of the national anthems at any event in which the Federation is represented.” U.S. Soccer also revealed that the policy was passed by the Board of Directors on Feb. 9. U.S. Soccer has apparently not decided on a punishment should a player break the policy.

The policy appears to be a direct reaction to Megan Rapinoe’s protest of the national anthem, in which she kneeled while the national anthem was being played at the USWNT’s September 15 friendly against Thailand last year. U.S. Soccer initially denounced Rapinoe’s protest.

The news of the policy was broken hours before the USWNT’s SheBelieves Cup match against England, and when head coach Jill Ellis, along with the team’s captains, Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn, were asked about the policy, they were surprised to hear about it.

“I’m sorry, a bylaw was passed today?” Ellis asked before answering the question, in which she backed up previous statements. “I think that should be the expectation … and I think we should represent ourselves and our country, so, yeah, I’m pleased with that.”

Lloyd and Sauerbrunn, though, were more uncertain about their feelings regarding the policy.

“I just focused on this game,” Lloyd said. “I honestly have no idea. I’ll have to read up and see. I mean, it is what it is.

Sauerbrunn said she heard that the policy was “in the making,” but “didn’t know that it passed.” As for her opinion, Sauerbrunn also remained mum, saying, “either you follow the policy or you don’t follow the policy.”

  • whammmm

    Glad they did this. The USSF has every right to set a standard. If you don’t like requirements you have the choice to step aside and no longer represent your country. This isn’t the same as your club president or the government telling you what to do. It also just says, “stand respectfully” for the anthem being played… you don’t have to sing, you don’t have to put your hand on your heart.
    At the very least you will stand and show respect to the nation whose anthem is being played.


    • Bill MInarik

      Ditto: In organized sports, you need to have specific rules and guidelines. Now that it is in writing, everyone knows what the rules are. If you don’t follow them, then you can expect some sanctions.
      This should be a no-brainer for most people. I had a chance to talk to Tommie Smith about his “demonstration” at the Mexico City Olympics. He said that he had a statement to make, but in retrospect, he said that what he did was neither the proper way, nor at the proper place to make it.

      BTW, absent any rules for speaking out after a soccer match, I am still of the opinion that Hope Solo did not do anything wrong at the Olympics, although I think she made a dumb statement.
      If the USSF wants to curb what you can say about whom, then they need to have a set or rules in place to govern that just like the NBA.


      • Old School

        I am still of the opinion that Hope Solo did not do anything wrong at the Olympics, although I think she made a dumb statement.

        It was the totality of her actions, specifically her criminal behavior off the field, that led to her banishment. Much like Rapinoe, it appears her teammates were quite fed up with Solo’s embarrassments and how they reflected upon the program.

        The federation were pretty clear it wasn’t just the Olympics quote, and they’re absolutely correct. She’s a poor example of a human being, and deserves all the “second chances” society affords her but playing for the national team is a privilege she wasn’t afforded (for an extended period of time or indefinitely) due to her lack of character.

        It’s disturbing so many “fans” look past her transgressions because of her talent.


    • Rob

      Considering how you call anybody that disagrees with you gay or a woman it’s not surprising you agree with this rule specifically designed to suppress the opinion of the USWNT members.


      • whammmm

        Wrong… I just call you a loser. I would never disrespect the LGBT (have gay relatives) or try to suppress women. If any man or woman wants to kneel as a fan or during their club game, or in any other scenario fine by me. I don’t agree, but that is their right. This is totally different. TrollBob is too ignorant to realize that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • whammmm

        Just more proof of your ignorance…

        “you agree with this rule specifically designed to suppress the opinion of the USWNT members.”

        USSF doesn’t just represent the women, dumbo.


  • Old School

    Glad to see this, and I’m sure a significant portion of the USWNT (including the manager) are too.

    Liked by 1 person

  • r.benjamin

    Weak. I thought this was america. Guess people get their feelings hurt when people want to express their constitutional rights.. a real patriot would stick up for someone’s right to stand/kneel whatever. As long as it doesnt demean or hurt anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Old School

      …and she still can because this is America and her right to protest is protected…on her own time. Real patriots realize her “protest” was based off false narratives, ignoring actual stastical data and the lastest trend the SJW’s have taken up.

      I get the spirit of your post and I empathize with it, but it’s so lacking any touch of reality or understanding of the constitution it’s not even worth sparing the time to provide you informaton Google can do without any effort on my part.

      Cheers, you have some reading to do.

      Liked by 1 person

    • whammmm

      She still has every right to protest. Just as the USSF has every right to say, if you won’t stand for your own country’s national anthem (who you are willingly representing) then they see no reason for you to represent the team and country further. Seems plenty fair. Watch the game from the stands and kneel the whole game.


    • Old School

      Ah, the ol’ Tibetan Monk self-immolation method. Now there’s a demographic that truly believed in their protest, and weren’t consumed with some media-driven hyperbole.


  • mike

    People will go hard for the anthem, but will not fight as hard to end racism. The anthem also has parts of it out that attack people of color. This country has United in it and that is the last thing we are. SMH


    • J.Thomas

      Youre going to have to change the name of the country, change the flag, and change the anthem to get the kind of impossible utopia you desire. And youd be throwing generations of people who died for their countrymen under the bus to do so.

      Its a stupid idea for people who cant think past their own strange racist guilt.


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