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Most members of the U.S. Women’s National Team stood silently while the anthem played before the World Cup opener against Vietnam on Friday.
Only five of the 11 players who stood on the field for the anthem placed their hands over their hearts, while their six teammates kept their digits clasped behind their backs.
While American supporters in the stands belted out “The Star Spangled Banner,” only three USWNT players — Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher and Lindsey Horan — sang along. The others stared stoically ahead.
Contrast that with the Vietnam team, who all sang along proudly to their country’s anthem, “Song of a Marching Army.”
This year marks the very first time Vietnam has competed in the World Cup.
Unfortunately for the Vietnamese, though, patriotism wasn’t enough. The USWNT took them down 3-0 at New Zealand’s Eden Park arena.
The USWNT has a complicated history with the anthem.
On the surface, this story might not seem like a big deal. After all, how often do you see MLB, NFL, NBA or any other athletes passionately belting out the national anthem before a game?
Not very often. They usually stand silently — their right hand over their heart.
But in years past, a majority of the USWNT refused to do even that.
Let’s start with the last time the USWNT took the field at the FIFA World Cup. That came in 2019, and the team won the championship.
Prior to the tournament, several players — obviously including the far-left-wing Megan Rapinoe — started to kneel during the United States national anthem. While wearing jerseys emblazoned with “USA.”
The players planned to do it during the World Cup, too. But U.S. Soccer mandated that they stand and show respect for the country they represent. And they weren’t happy about it. Players demanded an apology and told U.S. Soccer to repeal the policy.
Then, there’s the issue of their desire to constantly push hardcore left-wing political agendas. Some of the players even support biological men competing on the U.S. Women’s National Team. Which, of course, would displace ALL of the actual women on the team.
And during their “equal pay fight” — for which they won a completely undeserved ESPY award — they diminished their own U.S. Men’s National Team.
As my colleague Dan Zaksheske pointed out, “The USWNT does not compete for the United States. They compete for themselves.”
And Rapinoe is their ringleader.
“I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart,” she told Yahoo Sports. “I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”
But with Rapinoe retiring, maybe we’ll start to see a shift in the attitude of women’s soccer.
One can hope, right?
At least standing for the anthem — showing a smidgeon of pride for your homeland on the world stage — is a good place to start.