To protest racial injustice, police brutality and systemic racism against the Black community, the Portland Thorns and North Carolina Courage took a knee ahead of the first match of the NWSL Challenge Cup on Saturday in Utah.
All 22 players on the field and sideline kneeled while wearing shirts that said, “Black Lives Matter.”
The two National Women’s Soccer League teams released a joint statement, demanding that liberties and freedoms that this nation was founded upon be extended to everyone.
The teams choice to kneel comes just days after the USSF Board of Director’s voted to repeal a policy which required players to stand for the national anthem. The policy was created in 2016 after Megan Rapinoe joined Colin Kaepernick in protesting police brutality and racial injustice in the U.S.
The NWSL is the first major professional soccer league in the United States to return to action following the coronavirus shutdown. They are also the first league to play games following the unfortunate killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.