Players for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) will now have the option to either be on the field or remain in the locker room during the National Anthem, according to a release from the league.
The release says this decision was made following conversations with players from around the league, as well as club officials and other stakeholders.
“We began this tournament with several important goals,” said Lisa Baird, NWSL commissioner. “Develop a safe environment for the continuation of sport. Create an innovative competition to showcase the vitality of women’s soccer. Collaborate with our players association and develop a genuine partnership. Raise revenue to fund player compensation. And support and empower players to use their platform to make the world a better place.”
The league will continue to play the anthem, Baird said, but with “even more flexibility” and support for each player’s right to express their individual views.
“The NWSL stands behind every player, official and staff member,” Baird said. “Kneel on the field. Stand with your hand over your heart. Honor your feelings in the privacy of the locker room or at midfield. The NWSL is a league that was built on diversity and courage and those principles will continue to drive us forward.”