Arena: "Playing US national anthem before games is inappropriate"
Former United States coach Bruce Arena thinks that playing the national anthem before each game is "inappropriate" amid protests all over the country.
The death of George Floyd has sparked thousands of protests in all 50 states in America and the U.S. Soccer Federation and the NFL decided that athletes can peacefully protest during the national anthem prior to each game. This decision didn’t go down well with President Donald Trump and he said he will boycott any league if he sees an athlete kneeling down during the national anthem.
"I question whey we're playing the anthem"
Former United States soccer coach Bruce Arena spoke about the subject and he said that playing the “Star-Spangled Banner” before each game in professional sports leagues is inappropriate. He also said that he understood why some athletes take a knee to protest racial discrimination and he believes it is appropriate as long as it is respectful.
“I question why we’re playing the anthem in professional sporting events in our country. It puts people in awkward positions. We don’t use the anthem in movie theaters, on Broadway, or other events in the U.S. I don’t think it’s appropriate to have a national anthem before a baseball or an MLS game,” said the New England Revolution head coach in an interview with ESPN.
"It's becoming too big of an issue"
Arena is the coach with the most titles in the history of Major League Soccer (MLS) and during his interview he clarified that since there are so many players that are not born in the United States it is uncomfortable for them to listen to the national anthem game after game.
“In the MLS, most of the players standing on the field during the national anthem are international players. They aren’t even Americans. So why are we playing the national anthem? Having said that, I want it understood, I am very patriotic, but i just think it’s inappropriate and today, it’s becoming too big of an issue,” he said.
Last week, the U.S. Soccer Federation said that from now on players can take a knee during the national anthem, having punished Megan Rapinoe in 2017 when she knelt in solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to call attention to racial justice.
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