United States Soccer on Saturday voted to end a ban on players kneeling during the national anthem, something they have done to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
More than 70 per cent of the members of U.S. Soccer’s ruling body voted to scrap the policy requiring players to “stand respectfully” during the song. About 30 per cent voted to keep the policy in place.
“We know that this is a very divisive issue within our country and throughout the world,” US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone told reporters.
“So I was not surprised that our membership was not 100 per cent one way or the other.
The U.S. women’s national team stood as a group during the anthem prior to their SheBelieves Cup game on Feb. 21 after some knelt in the tournament opener on Feb. 18.
In June, U.S. soccer’s board of directors voted to repeal the no-kneeling policy, which was put in place after Megan Rapinoe kneeled in 2016.
That board vote required confirmation by the wider U.S. Soccer governing body, which it received on Saturday.