Seth Jahn, a fromer soccer player and U.S. Soccer Federation’s Athlete Council member, was removed after giving a speech in favor of keeping an anti-kneeling policy in place.
Jahn was removed from the council because he “violated the prohibited conduct’s policy section on harassment,” according to an article published Monday by Fox News.
— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) February 28, 2021
“I’m sure I’m going to ruffle some feathers with what I’m about to say, especially given the athletes council that I’m on, but given the evolution of our quote-unquote, progressive culture where everything offends everybody, those willing to take a knee for our anthem don’t care about defending half of our country and when they do so, then I don’t have too much concern in also exercising my First Amendment right,” Jahn reportedly said Saturday. “We’re here to get a different perspective. I also feel compelled to articulate that I’m of mixed race and representative of undoubtedly the most persecuted people in our country’s history, Native Americans.” (RELATED: Fans Boo Major League Soccer Team For Kneeling During The National Anthem)
“I keep hearing how our country was founded on the backs of slaves, even though approximately only 8% of the entire population even owned slaves,” Jahn continued. “Every race in the history of mankind has been enslaved by another demographic at some point time. Blacks have been enslaved. Hispanics have been enslaved. Asians most recently in our country in the freaking 20th century, have been enslaved. Natives have been enslaved. Whites have been enslaved. Shoot, I lived in Africa for two and a half years where I could purchase people, slaves, between the price of $300 and $800 per person, per head depending on their age, health and physicality.”
“Where were the social justice warriors and the news journalists there to bring their ruminations to these real atrocities? And yet in all of history, only one country has fought to abolish slavery, the United States of America, where nearly 400,000 men died to fight for the abolishment of slavery underneath the same stars and bars that our athletes take a knee for,” Jahn reportedly added. “Their sacrifice is tainted with every knee that touches the ground.”
USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone claimed kneeling during the national anthem wasn’t about the flag, according to Fox News.
“The athlete’s council does not tolerate this type of language and finds it incompatible with membership on the council,” the council said in a statement, according to Fox News. “While the council understands that each person has a right to his or her own opinion, there are certain opinions that go beyond the realm of what is appropriate or acceptable.”
Multiple members of the United States women’s national soccer team did kneel during the national anthem in the past years. As of February of 2021, the team will no longer kneel for the anthem.
“I think those that were collectively kneeling felt like we were kneeling to bring about attention to police brutality and systemic racism,” defender Crystal Dunn told reporters, according to ESPN. “I think we decided that moving forward we no longer feel the need to kneel because we are doing the work behind the scenes. We are combating systemic racism.”
Not all soccer players have protested the national anthem. Soccer star and USWNT player Carli Lloyd previously defended her decision to stand for the national anthem. Chicago Red Stars player Rachel Hill also had to defend her decision to stand back in July of 2020.