Gaetz Proposes Law Forcing U.S. Soccer Players To Stand For The Anthem
Florida congressman Matt Gaetz plans to propose a new bill that would force U.S. soccer players to stand for the national anthem, according to Law&Crime.
- During an episode of one of his Hot Takes with Matt Gaetz podcasts, Gaetz said:
“Today the news has me triggered. The U.S. Soccer Board of Directors voted yesterday to repeal Policy 604-1, which required our players to stand during the national anthem.”
- The policy was repealed in solidarity with the protests taking place all over the world following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man killed by a police officer.
- The U.S. Soccer Board of Directors issued a statement regarding the repeal:
“U.S. Soccer affirms Black Lives Matter, and we support the fight against racial injustices. 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.”
Gaetz spoke out against the move in his podcast, saying that having a national team wouldn’t be important if the players weren’t compelled to stand for the anthem.
- He shared that he planned to introduce legislation that would force players to stand for the anthem.
“I certainly think that we have the right to compel that our national team stand for the national anthem. While our anthem is playing, while you serve on the team, I think there is an obligation to respect our country.”
- Gaetz differentiated the soccer players from the NFL players who similarly kneeled for the national anthem:
“At least those are private people, working for a private company,” he said–while clarifying that he doesn’t like it when they kneel either. “[They] absolutely have the First Amendment right, to do whatever the heck they want to do, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.”’
- The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) is similarly a private organization, but Gaetz appears to have been confused by the words “United States” and the national colors on the players' uniforms.