The members of the Athlete Council recently held a meeting to discuss U.S. Soccer’s anthem policy. The group invited both current and former players from our Women’s, Men’s, Beach, and Para 7-a-side National Teams. The guests shared their personal experiences and insight related to both the anthem policy and the groundswell of action taking place nationwide.
The Athlete Council strongly encourages the Board of Directors to repeal policy 604-1, the anthem policy. We understand the voting membership of U.S. Soccer will have the final say on this policy and we hope they will join us in our quest to allow an athlete to peacefully protest.
While provisionally repealing the policy is a start for U.S. Soccer, there is a clear lack of trust between the Athletes and the leadership. In order for a positive relationship to exist going forward, we feel U.S. Soccer should apologize and offer an admission of wrongdoing. Then and only then do we feel a new chapter between the USSF and its athletes can begin. Additionally, we urge U.S. Soccer to develop a plan with action items focused on anti-racism that will be shared publicly with its athletes, key stakeholders, and fans.
One meeting among athletes is not going to fix all problems. With that in mind we would like to invite the members of our women’s and men’s players associations and members of our Extended National Teams to engage with the Athlete Council on a consistent and continued basis to inspire and ignite change.
The United States Soccer Federation's Athlete Council is a group of twenty athletes who are elected by their peers. The purpose of the council as laid out in U.S. Soccer's bylaws is to:
The Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act of 1978 (amended 1998):
Chris Ahrens (Chair)
Carlos Bocanegra (Vice-Chair)
John O'Brien (USOC, Alternate)
Aly Wagner (USOC)
*USOC indicates athletes who also serve on the United States Olympic Committee's Athlete Advisory Council