More than half of US women’s WC team refuse to sing national anthem
The latest incident sparked outrage on social media.
For the second time in one competition, more than half of the US women’s national team refused to sing the US national anthem before the start of their World Cup match against the Netherlands in Wellington, New Zealand, The Telegraph reported on Thursday.
Throughout history, the sports arena was used by athletes and fans to protest injustice and show support for certain causes. The latest move by the US women’s national team sparked outrage on social media, with some accusing the players of not being patriotic enough.
According to the news website, Andi Sullivan, Sophia Smith, Naomi Girma, Emily Fox, Trinity Rodman, and Crystal Dunn did not sing the US anthem in their opening match against Vietnam and repeated their action during the 1-1 draw with the Netherlands.
Earlier this week, Girma justified her stance by saying, "I think when we’re out there we’re preparing for the game, and that [singing the anthem] isn’t the focus."
"So ultimately, every player has the choice [to sing or not]."
Famous US journalist Megyn Kelly strongly rebuked the move, lashing out at the six players.
"I really do believe their version of what a feminist is, what it means to be an empowered woman, at least as an American woman, means you need to hate your country," Kelly said on her podcast.
On her part, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley also criticized the players, calling on them to sing the US anthem before the start of their upcoming match during the FIFA Women's World Cup.
Haley wrote on social media, "The US women’s soccer team is living the American Dream. They were born in the freest, fairest country in the world that has rewarded their hard work. They should remember that blessing and the men and women (like my husband) proudly defending it next time the national anthem plays."
In response to Haley's comments, tennis legend Martina Navratilova stressed that the players are defending the US "by playing their hardest and winning most of the time. Not by singing. Get a grip and start talking about solutions rather than searching for problems where there aren’t any."
The latest incident echoed similar events in 2019 during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France, when Megan Rapinoe said she would "likely never sing the [US] national anthem again" in protest of inequality and injustice in the country.