- Most members of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) didn’t sing along with the US national anthem before their World Cup match against the Netherlands on Wednesday in New Zealand.1
- Although Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz, and Lindsey Horan were seen singing, the majority of their teammates were silent before playing the Dutch team – who all sang with Netherlands’ anthem – to a 1-1 draw.1
- Previously before the team's opening game against Vietnam last Friday, six of the 11 US starting players didn’t place their hands over their hearts during the anthem – instead, keeping their arms at their sides or behind their backs.2
- While no one from the USWNT has expressed a reason for the silence, star player Megan Rapinoe – who in 2016 took a knee during the anthem – later that year wrote an essay explaining that she did it in solidarity with those protesting over alleged police brutality against Black Americans.3
- Later in 2019, she said she would never sing or put her hand over her heart during the national anthem again. All but one player knelt before a 2021 match against Australia.2
- The USWNT is attempting to become the first team – men’s or women’s – to win a third straight World Cup championship.2
- Narrative A, as provided by Washington Examiner. These athletes are spoiled and disrespectful. They want the prestige that comes with playing for the USWNT, but they do a poor job of representing the country. They’re setting a poor example for younger Americans, who are becoming increasingly unappreciative of everything afforded them because they're American.
- Narrative B, as provided by Just Women's Sports. One of the things afforded all Americans is freedom of speech, and that’s exactly the right these players are exercising. Every American is fortunate to live in a country where they’re not forced to sing the anthem and can represent their country as they wish. Luckily, the players are focused on playing the matches while their critics are trying to make a controversy out of nothing.