Black Lives Matter: MLS reiterates backing for anthem protests in support of movement
MLS statement: "If players or staff decide to stand, kneel or otherwise exercise their right to peaceful protest during the playing of the National Anthems before league games, we support them."
Last Updated: 09/06/20 6:26pm
MLS has reiterated its "longstanding position supporting players’ right to peacefully protest during national anthems before games" as a public show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
US Soccer added an 'Anthem Policy' for both the women's and men's national teams which stated they must stand for the American national anthem during pre-match ceremonies.
That policy is expected to be removed following a request to US Soccer from the women's national team, who also asked for an apology to be issued to players and staff.
MLS, the US's top-tier men's league, says it has not changed its position with regards to freedom of speech and peaceful protest.
A statement from the league said: "While fostering an environment of diversity, equality and inclusion, Major League Soccer stands by the ideals of freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest that are the hallmarks of the United States and Canada.
"If players or staff decide to stand, kneel or otherwise exercise their right to peaceful protest during the playing of the National Anthems before league games, we support them."
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has asked associations across the globe to use 'common sense' when it comes to following the rules the governing body has over players sharing political, religious or personal messages while on the pitch.
Infantino added that those players showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement and to honour George Floyd should be 'applauded and not punished' for their actions.
The Premier League will be supportive of players who take a knee as a public show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement when the season resumes next week.