Only one member of the US Women’s National Team didn’t kneel ahead of Thursday’s match against Australia while the rest of her teammates took a knee as part of a symbolic protest against racism and discrimination.
Star forward Carli Lloyd, 39, stood with her hands on her hips ahead of the bronze-winning game as the rest of the USWNT’s ten starters, and the team’s coaches and staff members, knelt on the turf at Kashima Stadium, photos show.
Two referees were also spotted kneeling while The Matildas opted to stand side-by-side and link arms.
Players kneeling ahead of Olympic contests has been a common sight since the Games began after the International Olympic Committee relaxed its rules on athlete demonstrations.
The US women have stood during the playing of the national anthem before games, only kneeling afterward, Business Insider said.
The IOC said Olympians wouldn’t be sanctioned for expressing their opinions as long as they aren’t disruptive, don’t target specific people or countries and don’t take place during meddling ceremonies.
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Ahead of previous scrimmages earlier this year and in 2020, the USWNT knelt during the National Anthem but Lloyd never joined in and instead stood with her hand on her heart, Insider reported.
In February, a few players, including Lloyd, decided to stand during the anthem while others kneeled and they said they felt it was possible to propel the anti-racism movement without kneeling, the Orlando Sentinel reported.