The confluence of the coronavirus pandemic and the rise of protests in opposition to racial injustice is prompting a shift in how sporting occasions deal with a longtime staple: the pregame enjoying of the nationwide anthem with gamers on the sector or court docket.
On Monday night time the Nationwide Ladies’s Soccer League introduced it might give gamers the choice of being on the sector or of their locker room through the anthem.
The announcement got here two days after the league’s Saturday launch of a one-month event, which is being performed with out followers in attendance within the Salt Lake Metropolis space. Earlier than the second recreation of the day, between the Chicago Purple Stars and Washington Spirit, most gamers knelt whereas a number of stood. All gamers wore T-shirts studying “Black Lives Matter.”
Chicago teammates Julie Ertz, who’s white, and Casey Quick, who’s Black, knelt and sobbed, arms draped over each other’s shoulders, because the anthem performed on loudspeakers. The NWSL tweeted a photo of the 2 athletes with the message, “This second and this motion means all the things to our gamers.”
— NWSL (@NWSL) June 28, 2020
However the second spurred questions on social media in regards to the significance of gamers standing or kneeling. Rachel Hill, one in every of Quick’s teammates, stood subsequent to her through the anthem and appeared to the touch the again of Quick’s shoulder as Quick wept.