GOP congressman floats bill that would force U.S. soccer players to stand for the national anthem

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) Released a bill on Friday that would force US soccer players to stand during the national anthem game.
Gaetz, who represents Florida, enacted legislation after the United States Soccer Federation lifted its 2017 request earlier this week that players must stand up for the song. This rule came into force after US female star Megan Rapinoe "raced against the African-American" during "The Star-Spangled Banner" before two USWNT games in 2016 in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick's peaceful, constitutionally protected protest against police brutality and systematics Community.
These longstanding problems have never been more widespread in mainstream consciousness since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed in police custody in Minnesota. The graphic video of this incident has caused outrage not only in the United States but around the world.
A Yahoo News poll released on Thursday found that most Americans now support athletes' right to peacefully protest against social issues, which was not the case when Kaepernick began to kneel respectfully four years ago in the fall before the games. The NFL has no rule prohibiting practice. On Friday, Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien said he would also take a knee during the national anthem to support his black players.
USWNT star Megan Rapinoe kneels down during the national anthem before a game in 2016. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)
"Players have the right to protest, be heard and who they are," said O'Brien. "They don't kneel because they are against our flag. They kneel down because they have not been treated equally in this country for over 400 years."
However, Gaetz was more concerned with the flag than the rights it guaranteed.
"I'd rather the United States not have a soccer team than a soccer team that doesn't represent the national anthem," he wrote on Twitter on Thursday. "You shouldn't be playing under our flag as our national team if you are not standing when it is raised."
On Friday, Gaetz said he would try to force US football to reinstate the rule or face unspecified "financial implications".
"I don't like football enough for the United States to have a football team if this football team disregards our anthem and flag," said Gaetz in a statement released by his office. "It is not necessarily something essential that we have to have when we are tied to the US soccer team, this feeling of extreme vigilance that we cannot be proud of the United States when we wear the United States uniform.
"I think that is very different from the kneeling NFL player," he continued. "As much as I oppose and dislike it, at least they are private individuals who work for a private company ... I certainly think we have the right to force our national team to stand for the national anthem."
President Donald Trump, perhaps the strongest opponent of the protests during the national anthem, tweeted on Saturday afternoon about Gaetz's bill. Apparently he won't be watching "much" soccer or NFL anymore.
Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
I won't see much anymore!
https: //
twitter.com/weartv/status/
1271458975003938817
...
WEAR ABC 3

@weartv
Florida MP Matt Gaetz is calling on the United States Football Association to allow its players not to stand for the national anthem.
https: //
weartv.com/news/local/rep
-gaetz-tells-us-should-have-no-soccer-team-if-players-don't-stand for anthem
...
94K
00:13 - June 14, 2020
Twitter Ads info and privacy
42.2K people talk about it
Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
And it looks like the NFL is going in that direction too, but I'm not watching!
https: //
twitter.com/jim_jordan/sta
tus / 1271152071581016066
...
MP Jim Jordan

@ Jim_Jordan
Let me make that clear: UNITED STATES Soccer doesn't represent the national anthem of the UNITED STATES?
https: // www.
sent-trib.com/sports/us-socc
he overrides the rule that kneeling is prohibited during the anthem / article_32a6c3f2-ab83-11ea-9ec4-172cda7efd6a.html
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89.8K
00:17 - June 14, 2020
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46K people talk about it
The statement said Gaetz will release legislative details on Saturday during a section on the Fox News conservative cable network.
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