The United States Women’s Soccer Team (USWNT) has once again sparked a debate on patriotism and freedom of expression as six players decided to remain silent during the national anthem ahead of their World Cup clash with Sweden. This decision has drawn both support and criticism from various quarters, highlighting the diversity of opinions within the team.
Players Who Sang Along
During the round of 16 tie at AAMI Park, five members of the USWNT sang along with the national anthem, demonstrating their passion and love for their country.
Among those who chose to participate were Captain Lindsey Horan, Alex Morgan, Alyssa Naeher, and Julie Ertz, displaying a show of unity and respect during this pre-match tradition.
Players Who Didn’t Sing
In stark contrast, six players opted not to sing along to the Star-Spangled Banner, standing in silent protest during the anthem. The players who chose not to sing were Andi Sullivan, Sophia Smith, Naomi Girma, Emily Fox, Trinity Rodman, and Crystal Dunn.
Their decision to remain silent has sparked discussions about their motivations and the importance of athletes using their platform to advocate for social issues.
The Controversial Role of Megan Rapinoe
American media personality Megyn Kelly laid the blame on Megan Rapinoe for influencing the team’s decision not to participate in singing the national anthem. However, it’s worth noting that Rapinoe was not part of the starting lineup during the game against Sweden.
Megan Rapinoe has been a prominent figure in advocating for social causes, such as LGBTQ+ rights and supporting Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racial injustice.
In 2019, Rapinoe publicly stated that she would “never put my hand over my heart” and “never sing the national anthem again.” Her principled stance on the matter has undoubtedly influenced some of her teammates, contributing to the visible divide in the team’s approach during the anthem.
The USWNT’s decision to remain silent during the national anthem has elicited mixed reactions from fans and spectators alike. While some view it as an expression of their right to peaceful protest and advocacy for social issues, others see it as a lack of respect for the country they represent.
Despite their dominating performance in the knockout stage against Sweden, the USWNT was unable to secure a victory, and the game was decided in a nail-biting penalty shootout, which ultimately saw Sweden emerge victorious.