Several players kneel during U.S. anthem as NWSL gets underway [Video]


SHOWS: SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, UNITED STATES (JUNE 27, 2020) (USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES – Broadcaster and Digital: MUST COURTESY ‘USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES’) (MUTE)

1. STILL PHOTO OF CHICAGO RED STARS PLAYERS JULIE ERTZ (ON LEFT) AND CASEY SHORT TAKING A KNEE TOGETHER DURING THE U.S. NATIONAL ANTHEM PRIOR TO THEIR NWSL CHALLENGE CUP GAME AGAINST THE WASHINGTON SPIRIT AT ZIONS BANK STADIUM

2. VARIOUS STILL PHOTOS OF RED STARS ERTZ CONSOLING SHORT DURING ANTHEM

3. STILL PHOTO OF SEVERAL WASHINGTON SPIRIT PLAYERS KNEELING AND ONE STANDING DURING ANTHEM BEFORE GAME AGAINST RED STARS

4. STILL PHOTO OF SPIRIT PLAYERS KNEELING DURING ANTHEM

5. STILL PHOTO OF SPIRIT AND RED STARS PLAYERS KNEELING JUST BEFORE START OF MATCH

6. STILL PHOTO OF SPIRIT’S ANDI SULLIVAN AND ROSE LAVELLE CONGRATULATING ASHLEY HATCH (33) AFTER HATCH SCORED A SECOND HALF GOAL PAST RED STARS GOALKEEPER ALYSSA NAEHER

STORY: Several players from the Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars took a knee during the U.S. national anthem prior to their National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) match late Saturday (June 27).

Spirit head coach Richie Burke said before the match that he would kneel for the anthem and the players all wore t-shirts with the slogan “Black Lives Matter” before the match.

Goals from Ashley Hatch and Rose Lavelle helped Washington beat Chicago 2-1.

The NWSL is the first team sports league in the U.S. to play after the Covid-19 outbreak with eight of the nine teams taking part in the 23 game Challenge Cup. The Orlando Pride pulled out after six players and four staff tested positive for the coronavirus.

Earlier Saturday, every player from the North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns took a knee during the anthem and also wore t-shirts with the “Black Lives Matter” slogan.

The protest was popularized by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and the gesture has again gained steam following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last month.

The favored Courage prevailed 2-1 over the Thorns after Lynn Williams headed in the game winner in stoppage time to kick off the month-long Challenge Cup tournament.

(Production: David Grip)



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