In case you haven’t seen it, here is a preview of what the Premier Kits are going to look like for the next week and change.
Ramble of the Day
I’m going to again focus on athletes in protest, this time quickly touching on Megan Rapinoe’s decision to kneel during playings of the U.S. national anthem on a few occasions in 2016. She did it first in the NWSL before a game against the Chicago Red Stars, and was then denied an opportunity to do so against the Washington Spirit before she eventually kneeled during an international friendly that month.
Rapinoe has spoken multiple times about the act. Initially she said, “It was something small I could do and something I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation.” Years after her USWNT minutes were limited and U.S. Soccer instituted a rule against kneeling, Rapinoe told Sports Illustrated that her clothing brand’s sales went down right after she kneeled and that she feared she was “on the outs” with the national team. Last week, U.S. Soccer finally admitted the policy was “wrong” and apologized to its Black players and repealed it.
Even though it technically did not apply to players because it was not negotiated in either the USMNT or USWNT’s collective bargaining agreement, it had its impact. For Rapinoe, it meant limiting her opportunities with the national team and a suffering business for a time. Crystal Dunn recently shared her version of events with Molly Hensley-Clancy at BuzzFeed News, admitting that she was scared U.S. Soccer would be harsher on her as a Black person.
Worth reading this whole answer from the USWNT's Crystal Dunn on Rapinoe kneeling in 2016. I remember people making a thing of the image of Dunn standing next to her.— Molly Hensley-Clancy (@mollyhc) June 16, 2020
"I’m scared for my job. I’m scared that it’s going to look different if a black girl on the team kneels." pic.twitter.com/jE2jt3ePrS
This is another example of governing bodies getting in the way of an athlete’s opinion, but U.S. men’s national team forward Jozy Altidore retweeted Hensley-Clancy with another point: “I can relate so much to this. It’s a struggle for Blacks in most work places.” Dunn fearing for her job if she openly protested police brutality and the treatment of Black Americans is not a healthy work environment (a point one can notice from U.S. Soccer’s treatment of Rapinoe). Dunn does talk the specific struggle she faced as a Black person: “I was thinking — ‘They could rip up my contract.’ So I thought I actually was going to probably get it worse. And I just remember telling her, it hurts me to my core that I’m going to stand, but I’m supportive.”
It is worth explaining that for USWNT players, their contracts with the national team are their main source of income — salaries with NWSL clubs are covered by U.S. Soccer, but only because they are national team players. Sponsorships also come because they’re national team players, so Dunn feeling like she could lose her job if she supported equality and fairness for Black Americans is a pretty cruel position to put someone in. Putting Rapinoe in that position is also quite cruel. U.S. Soccer has since said players can use their platforms to fight injustice as they see fit, an appropriate resolution to the problem they created; hopefully, they will not make the workplace uncomfortable in such a way again.
Links of the Day
FIFA and UEFA criticized Saudi Arabia for the beoutQ piracy serve after the World Trade Organization ruled the country was behind it.
OL Reign signed Alana Cook on loan from PSG for the nWSL Challenge Cup.
The Premier League wants players not to spit or crowd around referees in its return to play.
The U.K. government will provide meal vouchers to children during summer vacation after previously rejecting Marcus Rashford’s suggested initiative.
David Squires covers the uniqueness of Project Restart in his latest cartoon.
A longer read: Marina Hyde writes Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford is setting the example for politicians, not the other way around for The Guardian