The coach of the United States men’s soccer team between 1998-2006 and 2016-17 told ESPN that he thinks it’s “inappropriate” to play the U.S. national anthem before professional sporting events.
Bruce Arena, who currently coaches the New England Revolution in the Major Soccer League, stated of the penchant for kneeling among some pro athletes:
However, I question why we’re playing the national anthem in professional sporting events in our . I believe the history of the anthem was that it was brought in after World War II to kind of celebrate the baseball players and the people and our soldiers that participated in World War II. And then it was obviously extended to other sports to where it is today.
I think it puts people in awkward positions. We don’t use the national anthem in movie theaters, on Broadway, other events in the United States. I don’t think it is appropriate to have a national anthem before a baseball game, an MLS game. But having said that, I want it understood: I am very patriotic, but I think it is inappropriate. And today it’s becoming too big of an issue.
Arena cited the diversity of Major League Soccer, among whose 722 players 422 are from other countries.
“Think about it,” he continued. “In Major League Soccer, most of the players that are standing on the field during the national anthem are international players. They are not even Americans. So why are we playing the national anthem? With all due respect, I live in the greatest country in the world, but I think it is inappropriate.”
Earlier this month, U.S. Soccer’s board of directors repealed a policy requiring players and staff members to “stand respectfully” for the national anthem, as The New York Times reported. U.S. Soccer stated:
It should be, and will be going forward, up to our players to determine how they can best use their platforms to fight all forms of racism, discrimination, and inequality. We are here for our players and are ready to support them in elevating their efforts to achieve social justice. We cannot change the past, but we can make a difference in the future. We are committed to this change effort, and we will be implementing supporting actions in the near future.
Posted by The Daily Wire
By Hank Berrien