WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- North American-based league Major Leave Soccer (MLS) has announced that it will support its players who will decide to protest over George Floyd’s death during the national anthem pre-game ceremony.
- According to a Yahoo News report, the announcement came days after the US Soccer considered foregoing its anthem rule.
- Several MLS players like Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Reggie Cannon, Sean Johnson and Jonathan Lewis posted a video online calling for a change against police brutality.
The Major Leave Soccer (MLS) has announced that it will support players who will use the national anthem played before games as a venue to peacefully protest against social injustice and police brutality among the Black community.
The news came less than a day before the league unveiled its reopening plans on July 8 in Orlando, making it the first American-based men’s sports league to return amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Prior to MLS’ announcement, Yahoo Sports already reported that US Soccer will consider disregarding its anthem rule. This sign of peaceful protest was adopted after Megan Rapinoe, US Women’s National Team Star, took a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” before a match in 2016 in solidarity with then National Football League (NFL) quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The MLS is the first sports league in North America to publicly announce that it supports any player who decides to kneel as a sign of protest and tribute to the death of George Floyd — the 46-year-old African American man who was brutally arrested by Minneapolis officer in Minnesota last May 25.
As a league, MLS has never compelled its players to stand during the pregame ceremony. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has its own rules regarding pre-game service, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver looks willing to forego any corresponding consequences should a player decided to protest during the ceremony.
Last week, US Men’s national team members Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Reggie Cannon, Sean Johnson and Jonathan Lewis of MLS appeared on a video demanding for change over issues of police brutality.
District of Columbia United players and staff sprayed their playing field stadium with “I can’t breathe” and “BLM,” the abbreviation for Black Lives Matter.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016 end season. He accused the league of blackballing him. Both parties reached a settlement agreement in February.
Over the last years, several NFL players have continued to kneel or remain seated during the anthem.