In a move that surprised no one as every organization bows to the online mobs of people will attack and attack in a never-ending attempt to make just about anything political, the US Soccer organization removed a ban on kneeling during the national anthem. Personally, I don't care and think that doing so can only harm the player's own reputation but it's a stupid rule and honestly, i don't care if people stand with hand on heart, kneel, turn their back to the flag, or do an handstand.
It's all overblown and elicits a bit "whatever!" from me. Get politics out of sports is my motto but do what you want!
As Colin Kaepernick proved a few years back, a fantastic way to get a lot of attention for yourself is to make some sort of political statement, especially when you are waning as an athlete. When you are Meghan Rapinoe, an athlete in their prime, it is a fantastic way to get Americans to pay attention to a sport that they honestly only care about once every 4 years or so - or when their kids play it for their school.
Even though it really doesn't matter to me if people kneel or not, I feel like the ultimate way to protest the injustices of the country you live in, whether these injustices are real or imagined, would probably be to refuse to play for that particular team but then this would negatively affect their bank accounts and you can be assured they are not nearly dedicated enough to their cause to bypass that!
I can't say for certain but i think that Rapinoe was kneeling because of equal rights (payment) for women and men in soccer - a cause that was shot down by a judge. Did you know that there is a women's league for soccer in USA? Yeah, me neither. This is why they get paid less Meghan... the average attendance for the women's soccer league in USA is just over 5,000 people a game. There are high school football teams that have better attendance than this.
US Soccer had no choice in the matter than to do this in regards to kneeling during the anthem. The media attention that this sort of thing gets forced their hand and since it really doesn't matter (to people who just enjoy sports and would prefer that athletes just get on with doing that,) this will be a focus for a few games and then people likely wont care anymore.
The only bad side to this in my mind will be that the Twitter army will go after the people who do not kneel during the anthem and try to convince employers that whoever doesn't kneel should be fired for racism - just wait, it'll happen!
Do the people in charge over at US Soccer really care about the BLM movement or are they just saving face? It is impossible to know but since I realize that money is a really strong motivator, they probably spoke to their attorneys and made a statement just to placate the masses and that is just fine with me and many other people
A lot of people are applauding this and a lot of other people have said "I will never watch US soccer again." This is a bold statement since there is a better than average chance that you didn't watch US soccer to begin with. Soccer is a woefully unpopular sport in the States even though some people try to claim otherwise. MLS is the retirement league for international players and very few American soccer players make it overseas to play for truly top-tier teams.
Honestly, if the MLS season kicked back off in front of empty stadiums due to Covid-19 I don't think many people would notice. Despite practically giving tickets away in most markets, attendance outside of LA is embarrassing. Im exagerrating by using the above image because that is not typical. But when you look at the average attendance of the Chicago Fire standing at just above 12,000 people per game in 2019 - when Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States, it is easy to understand why most MLS teams don't even have their own stadiums.
So perhaps this announcement on the part of US Soccer could be a publicity stunt and it will get people rejoicing for a bit but I can assure you, it will not get them happy or mad enough to start watching a sport that Americans find boring.... and that's a fact... jack!