The ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd continue to have an effect on the soccer world, this time possibly bringing change to U.S. Soccer’s anthem policy.
The federation is considering repealing the regulation that requires anyone representing U.S. Soccer at a match to stand for the National Anthem, according to ESPN. USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone is urging the board to discuss the policy at a meeting on Tuesday.
The board would have to vote on the repeal, but if it passes it would take effect immediately. It would still have to pass at the next AGM to stand long term.
Policy 604-1 states “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.” It was passed at the 2017 U.S. Soccer annual general meeting in reaction to Megan Rapinoe kneeling during the anthem before a friendly against Thailand the previous year.
Rapinoe vowed to, and has followed the policy since its adoption.
The motivation for this is the massive wave of protests sweeping the country following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd after police kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. Many of the protests have seen both protesters and police officers alike taking a knee as they called for police reform nationwide.
The USSF Athlete Council has already discussed the potential repeal, but it is unknown whether the other councils of the federation, the Youth Council, Adult Council, and Pro Council have brought it up as of yet.