A ban on football players protesting during the national anthem has been lifted by US Soccer. The law was adopted in 2016 after the women’s star Megan Rapinoe kneeled in solidarity with ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who started kneeling in protest of racial discrimination during the anthem. The US board of soccer has described its preceding position as “false.”
The move comes amid protests around the world over George Floyd ‘s death. Floyd, an unarmed black man, had died in Minneapolis police custody last month. His death has brought the issue of racism and police brutality to renewed attention.
The National Football League (NFL) lifted its own ban on kneeling players on Saturday. Ever since Floyd’s passing, taking a knee has been used in many demonstrations.
A number of other players later followed him, until the NFL implemented a rule-eventually scrapped. The team would be fined if players failed to stand for the anthem. After the 2016 season, Kaepernick became a freelance agent but remains unsigned. In October 2017, Kaepernick lodged a lawsuit against NFL owners who claimed they conspired not to recruit him because of his kneeling protests. The two parties settled the dispute in a confidentiality deal in February. US President Donald Trump has regularly called for retaliation from players who kneel