Ahead of their Sunday game, the U.S. women’s football team decided to stay for the reading of the national anthem, with several players claiming that the kneeling past was only one phase in their plan to “ continue struggle for change ”.

It was a start from the past few years, where most of the team knelt down as the anthem was played. A few days earlier, some players had knelt before another game.

Kneeling for the Anthem began in 2016 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the fashionable move to, as he claims, protest police brutality against African Americans.

The practice quickly spread throughout the NFL and eventually the NBA. After George Floyd’s death, athletes from other sports – even countries – began to kneel before games.

The women’s football team and their late killer political activist Megan Rapinoe have apparently decided their kneeling days are behind them.

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Players explain their decision

American Defender’s Crystal Dunn told ESPN Sunday said the team was “ready to move on to a new chapter in their advocacy.”

“I think those who were kneeling collectively felt like we were kneeling down to call attention to police brutality and systemic racism,” Dunn said.

“I think we’ve decided that in order to move forward, we no longer feel the need to kneel down because we are doing the work behind the scenes. We are fighting systemic racism. “

The team wore jerseys that said “Black Lives Matter” before the game, but then changed into team jerseys.

Dunn explained her experience as a black athlete herself, “… who often felt like she had not been heard or seen, and many black people feel the same way. We’ve had these initial discussions and I feel better about where this team is at, but I think moving forward we’re ready to continue working off the pitch and having these conversations continually.

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What changed?

So why this change of mind? Crystal Dunn says that “we were never kneel forever. There will always be a time when we think it’s time to stand up.

The whole team has not always been united on this issue.

In one Goal.com report, starting in November, all but two of the players knelt during the hymn. It wouldn’t last. In the next two matches of the team, four players stood, three played in the following matches.

One of those who stood up, Carli Lloyd, spoke about team members supporting each other regardless of their views.

One of the more outspoken members, Megan Rapinoe, wasn’t giving up on the other team members who were standing, but she assumed her point was “correct” when she suggested that: “For players standing, I would say, keep educating yourself.

The women’s and men’s soccer teams lobbied the governing body, US Soccer cancel a ban on their knees and got their wish last summer, with an apology.

So what has changed between 2016 and now? Indeed, what has changed between last Thursday’s game, where the players knelt, and Sunday’s game, where everything was held?

Is kneeling no longer cool? Not that football is a sport in the United States that generates the revenue or the number of viewers that the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB does, but it is a business, could the root be that the football suffered the same fate as football and basketball. in terms of income?

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What matters is the essential

What happened after not only Kaepernick, but the rest of the NFL started to kneel down, or even stay in the locker room during the anthem?

What the fans saw were not warriors of social justice. What they saw was a bunch of horribly overpaid and pampered multimillionaires who thus became the only country in the world where they could have achieved so much wealth and success.

In 2016, shortly after Colin Kaepernick began his protests on the ground, Forbes reported a poll in “Sports news” that almost a third of viewers said they were less likely to watch football on TV because of the protests.

Why?

The reason is simple. Most sports fans consider their favorite sport an escape. We now have a 24 hour news cycle in which we can activate all kinds of protests, demonstrations and political fights at any time of the day and night.

There is a constant barrage of people who want to persuade us to think this or that, to have this opinion on “xyz” or that. We turn on sport because we want to see talented athletes doing things we can’t do on our own.

For a few hours we live vicariously through them. It’s just good clean entertainment.

In the case of the women’s national team, perhaps the end result is not financial but political. Megan Rapinoe has a history of exchanging words with former President Donald Trump.

In 2019, she said if the team retained their title, they would not go to the White House.

This sudden change of mind regarding the heavy social justice lift of kneeling came conveniently after Joe Biden became president. Was it the calendar date, January 20, that made the decision not to kneel a bit anymore?

Maybe Dunn is telling the truth, and the players are just tired of kneeling on a Sunday.

But the optics seem to say the “bad orange man is gone” from my perspective. Maybe making a scene is no longer necessary.

A tweet from someone named “Woody” seems to say what many Americans think.