US women’s national soccer team highlights Black Lives Matter movement in return to pitch


United States players wear a sweater with the slogan “Black Lives Matter” and most kneel as the national anthem is played prior to the international friendly women’s soccer match between The Netherlands and the US at the Rat Verlegh stadium in Breda, southern Netherlands, Friday Nov. 27, 2020. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Pool via AP)

For the first time in eight months, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team returned to action Friday in an international friendly against The Netherlands. It was also the first time the team played since the summer of national protests spurred by the police-involved death of George Floyd.

The U.S. won 2-0, but the biggest statement may have come before the match, when the team wore the words Black Lives Matter on their pregame warmup jackets, and some players kneeled during the national anthem.

Players, including Ladue native Becky Sauerbrunn, took to social media before the match to explain the decision.

“We love our country, and it is a true honor to represent America. It is also our duty to demand that the liberties and freedoms that our country was founded on extend to everyone,” the team’s message read in part.

“As the United States Women’s National team players, we collectively work toward a society where the American ideals are upheld, and Black lives are no longer systematically targeted.”

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