American Soccer Stakeholders Reverse Course by Taking Active Stance on Social Justice Issues

American Soccer Stakeholders Reverse Course by Taking Active Stance on Social Justice Issues
The U.S. is often heralded as one of the most progressive countries in the world, but progress on social justice issues has evolved slowly and unevenly in the American sports landscape. This all changed in 2020 when U.S. sports organizations, especially those within the world of soccer, reconsidered long-entrenched policies amid the growing public outcry against social injustice issues. Deviating from prior practice, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF), its domestic leagues, and its professional soccer clubs all reversed course and chose to take an active role in supporting the fight against social injustice within the U.S.

United States Soccer Federation

The USSF was the first sports organization in the U.S. to pass legislation that prevented athletes from using sport as a platform to raise awareness for social injustice within the U.S.[1] However, in 2020, the USSF made an about-face and repealed its national anthem policy (Policy 604-1), which had been enacted in response to Megan Rapinoe’s decision to kneel during the national anthem before U.S national team matches. The USSF’s decision was made in June 2020 in response to the growing outcry following the death of George Floyd. In announcing its repeal, the USSF issued the following statement:

U.S. Soccer affirms...

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