Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan (10) heads the ball away from North Carolina Courage forward Lynn Williams (9) during the first half of their NWSL game at Zions Bank Stadium on Saturday.Photo: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan (10) heads the ball away from North Carolina Courage forward Lynn Williams (9) during the first half of their NWSL game at Zions Bank Stadium on Saturday.Photo: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

NWSL players take a knee during national anthem in first game back

By Reuters Time of article published Jun 27, 2020

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LOS ANGELES – Every player from the North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns took a knee during the national anthem and wore t-shirts that said "Black Lives Matter" prior to their National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) match on Saturday.

In a joint statement, the players said they did so to protest racial injustice, police brutality and systemic racism against Black people and other people of color in America.

"We love our country and we have taken this opportunity to hold it to a higher standard," the players said.

"It is our duty to demand that the liberties and freedoms this nation was founded upon are extended to everyone."

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.

Saturday's match in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah, marked the first time a major North American league has returned to action since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, which upended the sports calendar in March.

Reuters

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