The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team called for the end of a requirement that soccer players stand during the national anthem, according to a statement posted to Twitter.
The national team is asking U.S. Soccer to "lay out its plans on how it will now support the message and movement that it tried to silence four years ago," the statement read.
"The Federation should immediately repeal the 'Anthem Policy,' publish a statement acknowledging the policy was wrong when it was adopted, and issue an apology to our Black players and supporters," the statement added.
The statement comes one day before a meeting where USA Soccer's special board will review the anthem policy Tuesday, which requires players to "stand respectfully" while "The Star-Spangled Banner" plays before national team games.
The players' statement said the policy "perpetuates the misconceptions and fear that clouded the true meaning and significance of Colin Kaepernick, Megan Rapinoe, and other athletes taking a knee — that black people in America have not been and continue to not be afforded the same liberties and freedoms as white people and that police brutality and systemic racism exist in this country."
If the board rejects the rule, the full membership of USA Soccer will vote on the measure.
The policy went into effect in 2017 after women's national team soccer player Megan Rapinoe kneeled while the anthem played before a soccer match in 2016. She kneeled in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling in 2016 to bring awareness to police brutality.
Emails from 2017 showed players were threatened with a suspension if they did not stand for the anthem.
"This is everybody's responsibility, including this union and its members; we could and should have done more in the past," the statement read. "We are committed to rising up against racist, hateful and unjust acts to effect change. Black lives matter."
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