Vote by U.S. Soccer's board on repealing its anthem policy could come as soon as Tuesday

A vote by U.S. Soccer's board of directors on whether to repeal the policy that it approved in 2017 requiring national team players to stand during the national anthem should come this week.

A U.S. Soccer spokesperson confirmed to Soccer America that the board will discuss the anthem policy in a special board meeting Tuesday but not necessarily vote on it. It could vote on Tuesday or it could hold off on voting until Friday.

U.S. Soccer will hold its first regular board meeting since Cindy Parlow Cone became president in March this weekend.

Since then, the federation named Will Wilson as CEO, who instituted sweeping cost-cutting measures in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including the dismantling of the Development Academy, and partial summary judgment was granted in a big win to the federation in the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by members of the women's national team in federal court in Los Angeles.

The (closed) executive session will take place on Friday, and the public board meeting will be held on Saturday. All three meetings will be held virtually.

The federation will be sending out the agenda for the Saturday public board meeting on Tuesday and explain how to RSVP to join the Saturday session virtually.

In a February 2017 teleconference meeting, the federation board passed Policy 604-1 that requires players and team personnel to “stand respectfully during the playing of national anthems at any event in which the Federation is represented."

It came after U.S. women’s national team star Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the playing of the anthem prior to a match against Thailand in Columbus, Ohio, in 2016. She took a knee to condemn police brutality toward black Americans and in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during pregame renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016.

For the policy to become permanent, it needed to be approved at the next National Council meeting, which it was in March 2017 by acclimation at the meeting in Maui.

Only five of 12 voting members at the 2017 BOD meeting where federation anthem policy 604-1 was passed are on board as voting members today: Chris Ahrens, Don Garber, John Motta, Tim Turney and Parlow Cone, who was an Athlete Council representative at the time.

(Carlos Cordeiro, who voted as vice president in 2017, is now a non-voting member of the board as immediate past president. Sunil Gulati, who was president in 2017 when the anthem policy was approved, left the board in March when Cordeiro resigned as president and filled Gulati's seat as immediate past president.)

If the policy is repealed, the decision will take effect immediately but need to be confirmed at the 2021 National Council meeting in Atlanta.

June 2020 U.S. Soccer board of directors
Cindy Parlow Cone (President)
Chris Ahrens (Athlete)
Carlos Bocanegra (Athlete)
Lisa Carnoy (Independent)
Carlos Cordeiro (Immediate past president -- non-voting)
Mike Cullina (At-large)
Don Garber (Pro)
Patti Hart (Independent)
Lori Lindsey (Athlete, Lindsay Tarpley Snow, alternate)
Steve Malik (Pro)
Richard Moeller (Adult)
John Motta (Adult)
Tim Turney (Youth)
Juan Uro (Independent)
Will Wilson (CEO/Secretary General -- non-voting)
Dr. Peter Zopfi (Youth)
Note: There is no Vice President.

February 2017 U.S. Soccer board of directors
Sunil Gulati (President)
Carlos Cordeiro (Vice President)
*Jeff Agoos (Athlete)
Chris Ahrens (Athlete)
John Collins (At-large)
Cindy Parlow Cone (Athlete)
Dr. Robert Contiguglia (Immediate past president -- non-voting)
Dan Flynn (CEO/Secretary General -- non-voting)
Don Garber (Pro)
Jesse Harrell (Youth)
Arthur Mattson (Adult)
John Motta (Adult)
Fabian Nunez (Independent)
*Alec Papadakis (Pro)
Donna Shalala (Independent)
Tim Turney (Youth)
*Did not take part in teleconference.
Note: There is no third Independent director.

14 comments about "Vote by U.S. Soccer's board on repealing its anthem policy could come as soon as Tuesday".
  1. Santiago 1314, June 8, 2020 at 11:48 p.m.

    I'll be Done with US Soccer, if they allow Players to kneel During the Playing of the US National Anthem.!!! DONE.!!! Got It, Cindy.!?!?!?

  2. R2 Dad, June 9, 2020 at 12:06 a.m.

    This is just knee-jerk reactionary talking head stuff. Much more interested in how USSF can get diversity of thought and experience on the board. That may come with different colors of skin--or not. Turns out lots of areas of society are interested in change,  not just the people in the streets today.

  3. Glenn Manning, June 9, 2020 at 7:23 a.m.

    STAND UP! There HAS to be a better way for you to use your platform.
    It's NOT the anthem or the Flag that you are mad at.
    And mad for good reason, I get that.
    If you feel so strongly NOT to stand for the anthem...
    PLEASE don't represent your country!!

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, June 9, 2020 at 9 a.m.

    Glenn, think about what you are saying. You would make playing a statement of support for the current administration. That would not make the national teams apolitical. The teams are supposed to represent all Americans, not just the establishment.

    The problem is that the playing of the anthem was originally a demonstration of support for our military and veterans. The typical citizen is no longer a veteran or even has a vet in their family.

  5. Santiago 1314 replied, June 10, 2020 at 12:16 a.m.

    @Bob, WTF... Kneeling by Players Started under Obama, Don't Drag "Current Administration" into it... Having been on the Field, in Various countries Representing USSF; Been “Peed On”, “Flames On the Field”, M-16s in the Hotel Rooms, Tanks On the Tarmac, Death Threat Warnings From CIA, .... All because of the Flag we Represented... I AM EMBARRASSED BY THIS “Demand”... I’ll be Done with US Soccer if they allow Knelling during National Anthem.!!! ... Our Men’s Team is already A JOKE, for Not Qualifying for Last World Cup And Olympics... Now the Only Bright Spot in the Federation, USWNT, wants to “Tear the Country apart”, Even More, During THE NATIONAL ANTHEM OF THE FLAG THEY PLAY FOR.?!?!?... And I do have a Son Currently Serving.!!!

  6. Glenn Manning replied, June 10, 2020 at 7:17 a.m.

    Bob - I am saying STAND up or DON'T wear the crest. NOTHING about administration!  :)

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, June 10, 2020 at 4:42 p.m.

    Santiago, I said "current" administration, not Trump or Obama.

  8. Santiago 1314 replied, June 10, 2020 at 9:11 p.m.

    Bob, you are Implying from Glenn's Post, that if you DO NOT Stand for the National Anthem, you are NOT supporting the "Current" Administration... When I Stood for the Flag, I wasn't Representing the "Current Administration"... I was Representing ALL America, "American Exceptionalism" ... When you Stand in a Foreign Country for The National Anthem, and they wave Communist Flags at you and Rain Down "Piss" on you, because of your Nationality, maybe you get  a Different Appreciation for The National Anthem... Kneeling started under Obama Administration... Sept 1st 2016 Kaepernick Kneels... Sept 15th 2016 Rapinoe Kneels... I guess they didn't support His administrations Lack of Support for Black People, and Supported Trump.??? hahaha... Fat Chance.

  9. frank schoon, June 9, 2020 at 9:03 a.m.

    Good going Cindy, this is the FIRST major step in improving our soccer on the field. Will you make everyone kneel before the start  the meeting.

  10. Wooden Ships replied, June 9, 2020 at 3:07 p.m.

    The VAR, identity infringement generation. Frank we ought to get knee pads before there's a run on them at the stores, well the ones that still have merchandise. No, better yet, let's just surrender and let the progressives lead us into nirvana. 

  11. Alan Blackledge, June 9, 2020 at 10:21 a.m.

    You are in the uniform, you stand. If you don't feel good about your nation you protest by refusing to wear that uniform. Easy! I don't care if you're Pele, or for Frank Johann...don't play!

  12. Wallace Wade, June 9, 2020 at 10:32 a.m.

    The Federation....Majoring in the Minors...

  13. E Velazquez, June 9, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.

    If the players do not Honor the National Anthem and the flag ,we who love Football will not watch any US soccer again .  Fortunately there are other leagues in Europe to enjoy quality games.

  14. Glenn Manning, June 11, 2020 at 7:18 a.m.

    My Soccer America Family:  I have been a loyal reader since 1991 when I attended my first game in Foxboro.  USA v Ireland.  Half, or more, of the 52,000 crowd belting out the Irish National Anthem.  (a leprechaun streaking across the field). Please know that I look forward to reading your awesome comments on soccer as I do reading the articles.  Your knowledge of the game at times amazes me.  So I have been attending US games, Mens & Womens, for almost 30 years.  All of you PLEASE: I know it's 11:38 minutes.  PLEASE click on this STAR SPANGLED BANNER AS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD IT

    I RARELY RARELY comment, BUT obviously I feel strongly about this.  

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