FIFA have urged ‘tolerance, respect and common sense’ after President Donald Trump slammed the US Soccer Federation (USSF) as USMNT and USWNT players will now be allowed to kneel for the national anthem.
In 2017 the USSF decided to bring in the policy which forced players from both the USWNT and USMNT to stand for the anthem after Megan Rapinoe took a knee to join Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality and inequality in the Black community in the United States of America.
[ MORE: Reaction to new anthem policy ]
Trump responded by saying he “won’t be watching much anymore” and shared comments made by Republican Matt Gaetz who is trying to force through a bill which would make the players stand for the anthem and said he’d rather not have a US Soccer national team if players do not stand.
The Associated Press asked FIFA about Trump’s comments and here is the statement world soccer’s governing body released.
“FIFA strongly advocates for tolerance, mutual respect and common sense when such important matters are debated. FIFA has a zero-tolerance approach to incidents of all forms of discrimination in football, as outlined in the FIFA Statutes. We must all say no to racism and no to violence.”
US Soccer reversed its decision in a board meeting last week, as board members voted in favor of repealing the anthem policy, even though it is believed the voted wasn’t unanimous.
This is the statement US Soccer released on its new anthem policy as they apologized to players from both the USMNT and USWNT:
“The policy was put in place after Megan Rapinoe kneeled in solidarity with the peaceful protest inspired by Colin Kaepernick, who was protesting police brutality, and the systematic oppression of Black people and people of color in America. It has become clear that this policy was wrong and detracted from the important message of Black Lives Matter.
“We have not done enough to listen – especially to our players – to understand and acknowledge the very real and meaningful experiences of Black and other minority communities in our country. We apologize to our players – especially our Black players – staff, fans, and all who support eradicating racism, Sports are a powerful platform for good, and we have not used our platform as effectively as we should have. We can do more on these specific issues and we will.”