The NWSL opened the Challenge Cup tournament in Utah US. Portlands thorns and North Carolina players took a knee during their match on Saturday. They all knelt when the national anthem was going on. The players and coaches were seen putting on Black lives matter shirts in warmups shortly before the game that was televised nationally on CBS. The players also knelt while observing a moment of silence before kickoff.
In a statement that was released before the game began, they all said. We took a knee today to protest against racial injustice, police brutality, and racism against blacks. We love our country and we have taken the opportunity to hold it to a higher standard. Demanding the liberty and freedom which this nation is founded upon is extended to everyone.
The league confirmed that it will support the players in whatever they chose to do the day before the league. They also said they will play the national anthem before the challenge cup games.
Emotion flows during the NWSL moment of silence
Some players remained standing in the last match that was played between Red Stars and the Washington Spirit. It was a touching moment for Casey short who was full of emotion and was seen crying and teammate Julie Ertz consoled her.
The NWSL is the first professional team sport to return to the United states amiid the coronavirus outbreak. The competition is been played in the absence of fans at the zion banks stadium in Herriman, Utah.
The NWSL has been vocal about supporting an important issue and players are also doing their parts. They expect other teams to do the same thing they have done and made the action continue.
Courage midfielder Sam Mewis said after her team beat Thorns 2-1, today it was hopefully a powerful statement. It was really emotional time and I believe that both team’s message comes through.