Don’t Strip Soccer Players of Their Right to Protest

Target: Sunil Gulati, President of the United States Soccer Federation

Goal: Remove policy requiring all U.S. soccer players to stand during the national anthem.

The United States Soccer Federation has become the first American sports organization to require its players to stand during the playing of a national anthem during a game. This new rule is a response to Megan Rapinoe’s protest, in which she kneeled in solidarity with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the “Star-Spangled Banner” at a few games. Consequences for not standing were not outlined, and the organization has stated it plans to deal with outliers on a case-by-case basis. This new rule is attempting to suppress the rights of it players and only allow them to portray a tailored version of America.

U.S. Soccer was quick to speak out against Rapinoe when she first began her protest. She stated that, as a gay woman, she too has noted feeling a lack of protection under the flag while saluting it. Just because she works for and represents an organization does not mean that she, or any soccer player, should be stripped of their First Amendment rights to protest and practice free speech. Please sign this petition to demand that U.S. Soccer remove the policy requiring its players to stand during the national anthem.


Dear Mr. Gulati,

Requiring your players to stand during the playing of the national anthem is a violation of their right to free speech. Kneeling during the “Star-Spangled Banner” is a protest aimed at calling out the unfairness felt by many minorities and those in the LGBTQ community, and you cannot squash that out with a policy. Expression of free speech is a First Amendment right.

Your organization should show solidarity with Megan Rapinoe and any other players who choose to express their disdain for American politics. I demand that you remove the policy requiring players to stand during the national anthem.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: David Wilson

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  1. The best protests would be not playing, snowflakes

  2. Stand or don’t play. You represent this country, then represent it with respect and dignity. If you can’t…find another country to play for.

  3. John Burgess says:

    “protest” out of uniform and on their own time.

  4. Kate Lenthall says:

    To the other comments here: Are they supposed to just go out and get a new job, when they’ve been training and doing this sport probably since childhood? It’s not that easy, folks, clearly; if it were, they would have done it already. And you’re deflecting the issue at hand here, instead of the players doing things on their own time, how about we not force them to respect something that doesn’t apply to them? It’s akin to making someone go to church when they aren’t religious, or eat meat when they’re a vegetarian. They don’t “represent this country”, that would be the Olympic team that does that. They play a sport that they love and they don’t need to be pressured into something that has absolutely zero bearing on the game or the sport. Get over yourselves and support these people who are actually standing up for themselves.

    • It is the US soccer federation..hint hint…it says US so they do indeed represent the US. If they just want to play for fun then find another group to play with. As for the church issue, that is not even close to the same thing. It would be like someone who doesn’t practice religion going into a church and complaining that they have to hear the sermon… You don’t like it don’t go. You have the nerve to not respect the country that gave you the privilege to play…don’t play. .

  5. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    thats not fair!

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