Florida congressman seeks ban on soccer players kneeling

Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz says he is drafting legislation compelling U.S. Soccer to reverse the decision of its board on Tuesday repealing Policy 604-1, which requires players and staff to stand respectfully for the national anthem.

"I just could not believe this when I saw it," he said on his podcast show "Hot Takes with Matt Gaetz." "This is the U.S. national soccer team, making the decision that the soccer players who play underneath our flag, do not have to stand for it, as it is being presented.”

Gaetz, 38, is in his second term as the U.S. representative for Florida's 1st Congressional District, which covers part of the Panhandle and has a large military presence. He is known for taking publicity-seeking positions that has garnered him extensive media coverage normally not reserved for such a young congressman. He admitted he wasn't much of a soccer fan.

“I don’t like soccer enough, for the U.S. to even have a soccer team, if that soccer team is going to disrespect our anthem and our flag,” he added. “It is not like some essential thing that we have to have, if latched to the U.S. soccer team is this sense of such extreme wokeness that we cannot be proud of the United States while wearing the uniform of the United States.”

Before the federation board met to discuss the anthem policy, both the men's and women's national team player associations said the policy, introduced in 2017, did not apply to their players because it was not negotiated as part of the working conditions of their collective bargaining agreements.
19 comments about "Florida congressman seeks ban on soccer players kneeling".
  1. John Lyncheski, June 13, 2020 at 6:57 a.m.

    Congressman Gaetz,
    I’m not in your District, but I fully support your legislation. The last thing one wearing a USA uniform should do is disrespect the anthem or our flag, symbols of what our country stands for. If individual players have a cause, there are a plethora  of other forums for them to express their views. If they don’t want to honor the flag or the anthem, then don’t don the USA uniform. Good luck.
    A Patriot & Veteran

  2. Alan Blackledge replied, June 13, 2020 at 9:55 a.m.

    Exactly John! If they can't respectfully stand, how can they justify playing for the team that flag and anthem represent? They reap the financial reward but really don't truly sacrifice for their cause...

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, June 13, 2020 at 3:47 p.m.

    I don't think USSF gets Money from the Feds(Maybe PPP.??) As much as I agree with the No Kneeling Sentiment... This is a Decision between Employer and Employee... Leave the Legislation Out Of it.

  4. Mark Buckley replied, June 13, 2020 at 3:49 p.m.

    Representative Gaetz, 

    I am not from your district but I think your legislation is a waste of time. You have no chance of getting the legislation passed. Where is your legislation to allow confederate flags at NASCAR events? Join us here in 2020. Stop wasting the tax payers money and do your job. Stop putting on a show for your base.  Are there homeless people in your district? Are there people who have lost there jobs? Spend some time with those problems. How about police reform? Do your job, not a podcast.

  5. Wallace Wade, June 13, 2020 at 9:19 a.m.

    He also doesn't care if this Country even has a National Soccer Team...

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, June 13, 2020 at 3:52 p.m.

    Many of us will be feeling the same way, if they start Kneeling... We already got a Bunch Of "Weanie" "Woke" Men's team players that cant Qualify and Now The USWNT will join In... Sad days.!!!

  7. Wallace Wade, June 13, 2020 at 9:24 a.m.

    Right, Matty, why should the USA participate in the Worlds game? Well just insulate a little more and attend Monster truck events

  8. frank schoon, June 13, 2020 at 9:42 a.m.

    You want to protest than DON'T except an invitation to play for the National Team, that is how you make a statement, a TRUE protest....it's that simple,PERIOD! That's how you show your sincerity in how feel about your country, but this 'kneeling' garbage , play and still except all the 'bennies' that go with it playing for the NT  is just "phony" soy boy garbage.....

  9. Valerie Metzler, June 13, 2020 at 10:01 a.m.

    Obviously, Gaetz does not know what he's talking about.  If I needed yet another reason not to like him, I got one now.  (I already had enough.)

  10. SG Robbo replied, June 13, 2020 at 2:39 p.m.

    AMEN..  It's not about the flag for the millionth time...  Listen...  Every league in the world is kneeling and has everything to do with the issue, nothing to do with disrespect of the flag.  Green Beret suggested kneeling to Colin who never hid in the locker room.  Far right and far left need to go.  The rest need to go to the polls and vote for all 3 levels of gov't in Nov....

  11. Derek Mccracken, June 13, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.

    If the United States national teams won't stand for the United States national anthem, they should call themselves something else. Maybe the "We don't respect the national anthem" team?

  12. Wooden Ships replied, June 13, 2020 at 12:59 p.m.


  13. Santiago 1314 replied, June 13, 2020 at 3:44 p.m.

    @Phil & Wooden... Maybe the Kneelers could form the CHAZ National Team.!!!

  14. Nick Barbaro, June 13, 2020 at 10:31 a.m.

    True patriotism would suggest that every person has the right to express their views, whether popular or not.

  15. Santiago 1314 replied, June 13, 2020 at 3:48 p.m.

    Try that at your place of Employment.!!!

  16. Nick Gabris, June 13, 2020 at 11:44 a.m.

    Play the anthem before the players come on to the field, like the NFL used to do years ago. 

  17. Wooden Ships, June 13, 2020 at 12:58 p.m.

    Once again Mr. Kennedy your leanings come out again, "publicity seeking opinions." The left is loaded with those in Congress. You provoke unnecessarily, it's cheap and disingenuous. The USSF caved, as others have said, you don't recognize the greatness and the potential of this country, have real courage and pass on the call up. 


  18. John Foust replied, June 13, 2020 at 5:17 p.m.

    For those of you who say it's not about disrespecting the flag or disrespecting veterans, as a veteran I was vehemently disagree with you. It disrespects me, my shipmates who died in combat,and all those who did likewise, who are inspired by those memories every time we see the flag that represents the right of those we disagree with to ... disagree.  You can say what you want about what you don't mean or what you do mean, but it's the message I receive that matters to me.  I will absolutely defend their right to protest that way if they want, but totally abhor their method and the personal message they send to me.  Find another forum for your very legitimate grievances - it's not about what you say, it's about what we hear. Hope you're woke enough to know the difference.

  19. Luis Sagastume, June 13, 2020 at 8:08 p.m.

    If this was brought up to a vote, my vote is to stand up. I believe everyone representing their National Team in any type of competition needs to stand up for the Anthem and the flag as a sign of respect and support for their country. It does not matter what the issues are. This is why there should be no politics in sports.

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